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FDA Statement on Vibrio Vulnificus in Raw Oysters
Date:11/13/2009

be feasibly implemented in the Gulf Coast in the fastest, safest and most economical way.

While this study is ongoing, the FDA will continue to reach out to state authorities and the Gulf Coast industry to discuss their concerns about the agency's policy and measures the industry is pursuing to make oysters safer. The FDA is committed to assisting local farmers in the implementation of post-harvest processing through all possible means.

The agency looks forward to working with Gulf Coast officials and industry to accomplish the goal of protecting consumers from Vibrio vulnificus in a manner that is feasible and minimizes impacts on the oyster industry.

Some actions that the FDA will undertake over the next weeks and months include:

#1. Continuing to discuss future collaboration with the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference to address Vibrio vulnificus in the region, including discussing the scope of needed studies, and meeting with the Board in March 2010.

#2. Working in conjunction with the National Marine Fisheries Service, the FDA will offer technical assistance to facilitate implementation of post-harvest processing or equally effective alternatives, including:

  1. Validation of processing parameters that can be applied to post-harvest processes to achieve non-detectable levels of Vibrio vulnificus, while also preserving acceptable taste and texture, and ensuring that this information is in the public domain so that all processors can use it.
  2. Studying alternatives to post-harvest processing, including off-shore relaying in which oysters are harvested and moved to salty waters where the high salinity kills Vibrio vulnificus.
  3. Providing technical assistance to firms in development of their post-harvest processing processes and HACCP plans.

#3. The FDA will work with other federal agencies, such as the USDA and the Na
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SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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