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2011 Raw Oyster Ban Shucked

The Gainsville Sun is reporting that opposition has put a stop for now to a federal proposal that would have halted the sale of raw oysters from the Gulf of Mexico unless they were treated for a potentially deadly bacteria.

The Food and Drug Administration announced last month that effective in 2011, fresh Gulf Coast oysters harvested during warm months would have to be treated with processes such as flash freezing, warm-water pasteurization or low-dose irradiation. The treatment would be aimed at preventing deaths related to raw oysters infected with the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus.

But the FDA backed off from that proposal.

"It is clear to the FDA from our discussions to date that there is a need to further examine both the process and timing for large and small oyster harvesters to gain access to processing facilities or equivalent controls in order to address this important public health goal," the FDA reported in a statement Friday.

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