The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) yesterday urged people not to eat raw shellfish to avoid food poisoning. Several organisms can cause food poisoning such as the norovirus and Vibrio bacteria. ,
The norovirus is the most common cause of food poisoning and is often related to eating raw clams or oysters. The transmission is primarily via person to person contact. As few as 10 or less viral particles can cause an infection. Symptoms of the norovirus infection include vomiting, stomach pain, watery diarrhoea typically within 12 to 48 hours of exposure. A healthy individual usually recovers in 3 days. The Vibrio bacteria on the other hand thrives in warm water. It is less common but can cause serious and life-threatening illness.
The TFDA recommends that people should avoid eating oysters or other raw or lightly cooked shellfish. It urges the public to wash and cook shellfish thoroughly before eating. People should wash their hands and separate knives and cutting boards between raw and cooked foods to avoid cross contamination. Raw and cooked food should be kept in separate containers.
Medical attention should be sought as soon as possible if food poisoning is suspected.