February 22, 2024

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Japan: Oyster Festival Linked to Group Food Poisoning

Japan: Oyster Festival Linked to Group Food Poisoning



Japan: Oyster Festival Linked to Group Food Poisoning. Organizers Apologize, Cite Undercooking as Cause

In an issue arising from an oyster-tasting event held in Ueno Park, Taito Ward earlier this month, participants have been reporting various health issues.

On January 12, the organizers issued an apology, acknowledging that food poisoning likely occurred due to insufficient heating of the oysters.

Japan: Oyster Festival Linked to Group Food Poisoning. Organizers Apologize, Cite Undercooking as Cause

screenshot from Yahoo Japan

The Oyster Festival’s official website stated, “We suspect that food poisoning occurred due to undercooking at the Oyster Butter Soy Sauce booth, and investigations into the number of affected individuals and the root cause are underway. We sincerely apologize for the significant distress and inconvenience caused to the attendees who experienced symptoms.”

Concerns emerged on social media as participants in the three-day “Oyster Fest” held from the 6th of this month in Ueno Park complained of health problems. In response to the situation, the organizers apologized on January 12 through their website, stating, “We believe that the undercooking of oyster butter grilling is the cause of the food poisoning” and announced their full commitment to addressing those affected.

As of January 12, the Taito Health Center has received over 20 reports of symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting from participants in the event. The organizers are collaborating with health authorities, sharing information and continuing investigations into the cause.

Reports of food poisoning have also surfaced elsewhere in Tokyo. According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, a total of 67 individuals, including customers who dined on kaiseki cuisine at a Japanese restaurant within the “Hotel Cadence Tokyo” in Nerima Ward from the 1st to the 3rd of this month, experienced symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Several of them tested positive for norovirus. The restaurant has voluntarily suspended operations since the 4th, and on January 12, Nerima Ward imposed a three-day business suspension on the establishment.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is urging caution in handling food and vomit to prevent infectious diseases like norovirus, which tend to be prevalent during this season.


Why do undercooking Oysters Linked to Food Poisoning?

 

Undercooking oysters can be linked to food poisoning due to the potential presence of harmful bacteria and viruses that are naturally found in raw or undercooked shellfish, including oysters.

Oysters can carry pathogens such as Vibrio vulnificus and Norovirus, which can cause illness when consumed.

  1. Bacterial Contamination (Vibrio vulnificus): Oysters are filter feeders, meaning they draw in water to obtain nutrients. If the water is contaminated with bacteria like Vibrio vulnificus, the oysters can become contaminated as well. Vibrio vulnificus can cause serious infections, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems. Cooking seafood thoroughly is crucial to kill these bacteria and prevent infections.

  2. Viral Contamination (Norovirus): Norovirus is another common cause of foodborne illness associated with raw or undercooked shellfish. Contamination can occur through polluted water or improper handling during harvesting and processing. Norovirus is highly contagious and can lead to symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.

By not cooking oysters adequately, these harmful microorganisms may survive and pose a risk to those who consume them.

Proper cooking, such as thorough heating, helps eliminate these pathogens and ensures the safety of the food.

In the context of the reported oyster festival, the undercooking of oysters at the butter soy sauce booth was identified as a potential cause of the food poisoning cases, prompting the organizers to issue an apology and initiate investigations.

Japan: Oyster Festival Linked to Group Food Poisoning

References:

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/fe24eaf40477435591b06e63dbf366631656610a

(source:internet, reference only)


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