Oysters and clams from Korea are on high alert this summer as 10 different companies announce recalls for the mollusks.
On May 18 and May 25, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a constituent announcement that detailed the removal of all Korean shippers from the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL) after it determined that Korea’s shellfish sanitation plan didn’t meet safety standards.
Namely, FDA noted human fecal waste from nearby fish farms and vessels was entering the shellfish growing areas and contaminating them with norovirus.
Then, on June 14, FDA issued a press release urging distributors, retailers and foodservice operators to stop using and selling korean shellfish.
FDA’s June 27 Enforcement Report detailed recalls for the following Korean shellfish products:
  1. King Seafoods Granadasia Whole Oysters
  2. Camerican International Oyster Products
  3. Whole Oysters by World Finer Foods
  4. Frozen Korean Oyster Meat I.Q.F.
  5. Frozen and Breaded Oysters
  6. Woosung Oyster Products
  7. Tiny IQF, Large IQF, and Half Shell Oysters by Ocean Group
FDA’s June 20 Enforcement Report detailed recalls for the following Korean shellfish products:
  1. FDA bans korean shellfish from the country, news on oyster recall, chicken of the sea oyster recall, campbells oyster soup recall
    Campbell’s Oyster Stew
  2. Mrs. Friday’s Oysters
  3. Prince Natural Canned Oysters
  4. Bumble Bee Fancy Whole Oysters
  5. Napoleon Canned Smoked Oysters
  6. Polar Whole Boiled Oysters
  7. Whole and Smoked Oysters
  8. Dauguski Brand Boiled Oysters
  9. Fresh Baby Clam Meat
  10. Whole and Smoked Oysters

For details on all of these recalls, go to our Enforcement Report Recalls Page.

FDA advises the following for consumers:

Consumers who have recently bought molluscan shellfish and are concerned that it may have come from Korea, should contact the store where it was purchased and ask about its origin. Consumers can check the label on packaged seafood to see if it is from Korea. If it is not clear where the product is from, consumers can call the manufacturer to find out. Consumers should dispose of molluscan shellfish from Korea and any products made with molluscan shellfish from Korea.

Noroviruses cause gastroenteritis. Symptoms of illness associated with norovirus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping. Affected individuals often experience low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and a general sense of tiredness. Most people show symptoms 12 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus. The illness typically lasts one to three days. Dehydration is the most common complication, especially in young children and older adults, which may require medical care. While there have been norovirus illnesses in the United States from the consumption of Korean oysters as recently as 2011, there have been no U.S. illnesses from the consumption of Korean shellfish reported in 2012.


(Photos by EEPaul and naotakem)