Tomales Bay oyster harvesting on hold due to norovirus outbreak

ByBrandon Behle KGO logo
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Tomales Bay oyster harvesting on hold due to norovirus outbreak
Tomales Bay oyster harvesting is on hold right now, after a norovirus outbreak sickened nearly 50 people in the Bay Area.

POINT REYES, Calif. (KGO) -- All oyster harvesting in Tomales Bay is on hold right now, as the California Department of Health investigates a norovirus outbreak that's sickened nearly 50 people in the Bay Area.

Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County's Public Health officer, confirmed to ABC7 News that a recall of the affected oysters was issued on Jan. 4 to 34 restaurants that were sold oysters by several oyster companies including Hog Island Oyster Company.

The famous oyster company is based in Marshall and has restaurant there and another one in the San Francisco's Ferry Building.

The company posted a statement on their website that they voluntarily recalled their oysters after they started receiving reports of illness on January 2.

"The illnesses reported occurred between December 28 and 31st. All oysters from the potentially affected lots were called back," wrote a company spokesperson.

The company claims that other oysters companies in the area have also reported receiving illness reports.

Willis told ABC 7 news Wednesday night that there are 49 confirmed cases across the Bay Area, with a big cluster in San Francisco, and seven cases in Marin County.

He also said there have been very few new cases reported since the recall was issued.

The California Department of Public Health confirmed the closure to ABC7 News, saying that all commercial shellfish growing areas in Tomales Bay are closed right now.

The CDPH says they are constantly testing the oysters and have not found and signs of norovirus, however oyster farms will remain closed until the CDPH completes their investigation.

Hog island says they locations remain open but that they are selling oysters and shellfish from growers in Washington state, outside the affected area.

Take a look at more stories and videos about product recalls.