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The Risk of Eating Raw Oysters

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    The Risk of Eating Raw Oysters

    Advice for persons with liver disease, diabetes, or weakened immune systems...

    Did you know?...

    Each year, millions of Americans enjoy eating raw molluscan shellfish -- especially oysters and clams. But if you have a liver disease, diabetes, or a weak immune system, raw oysters or clams containing the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus can make you seriously ill.

    You can avoid illness simply by:

    Eating only oysters or clams that have been thoroughly cooked.

    Eating raw oysters or clams only if they are treated and labeled "Processed to reduce Vibrio vulnificus to non-detectable levels."

    What is Vibrio vulnificus?

    Vibrio vulnificus is a bacteria that can cause sever illness or death to at-risk people who eat raw oysters or clams.

    From 1989 to 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recorded 282 serious illnesses associated with consumption of raw oysters and clams containing the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria. While illnesses are infrequent, about half (149) have resulted in death.

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