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Tuesday 18th June 2019

British oysters contain vomiting virus

29th November 2011

The Food Standards Agency has stated that 75% of UK oysters that it tested contained norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug.


However the FSA has said it has not changed the advisory information it provides to consumers.

It said that people should consider the risks of eating uncooked shellfish and they should not be consumed by people with health issues.

Researchers performed tests on 8,000 oysters from 39 parts of the UK. They were particularly interested in finding out whether seafood contributed to the increase in winter food poisoning. 

Dr Andrew Wadge, the FSA's chief scientist, explained that the findings have not shown any new dangers involved in eating shellfish.

He said: "If you are someone who enjoys eating raw oysters and you want to continue there is nothing here to say that you are at more risk or less risk. What we do say is that there is some risk." 

Dr Wadge said the FSA's research was the first step in understanding what the dangers involved in eating shellfish and how they could be decreased.

He added: "Ultimately, I'd hope that this would lead to new safety standards across Europe [for norovirus levels] and better monitoring. If we can get to that point then people will be able to eat their oysters with more confidence than they are able to at the moment."

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