08/19/2015 03:02 EDT | Updated 08/19/2015 03:59 EDT

B.C. Oysters Recalled Canada-Wide For Possible Bacteria Contamination


OTTAWA — Oysters harvested from B.C. coastal waters and sold for raw consumption are being recalled from the marketplace due to a possible bacterial contamination.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the recall affects oysters harvested on or before Tuesday because they may contain unacceptable levels of a bacterium called Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

The CFIA says the naturally-occurring bacterium can be found in coastal waters during periods of increased water temperatures.

The federal agency says there have been an unspecified number of illnesses linked to eating the raw oysters, adding the national recall was triggered by an investigation into a foodborne illness outbreak.

Anyone who bought the oysters are advised to thrown them out or return them to the store where purchased. Distributors, retailers and food service establishments such as hotels and restaurants should not sell or use them.

The CFIA says its investigation may lead to the recall of other products.

The agency says illnesses can be avoided if shellfish are cooked before being eaten. People with weakened immune systems, young children, pregnant women and older adults are at increased risk for developing complications if they get sick.

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