Raw and Steamed Oysters Linked to Recent Norovirus Outbreaks

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Bivalve mollusks such as oysters and clams can concentrate norovirus within their meat, especially if they have been living in water contaminated with human pathogens. This Food Safety Infosheet provides tips on preventing foodborne illnesses from un- or undercooked oysters or clams.


  • Since December 2009 three oyster-linked outbreaks resulting in over 300 illnesses have been reported in the U.S.
  • Ensure that you buy oysters from licensed, reputable suppliers.
  • Ask your suppliers about their food safety practices and harvesting sites.
  • Tell patrons that steaming is not always an effective cooking step for oysters; steamed is not a safe alternative to raw.

Article first appeared on foodsafetyinfosheets.org