Contaminated shellfish in Mason County leads to multi-state recall

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OLYMPIA — Health officials closed shellfish harvesting and ordered a recall Thursday for a portion of Mason County’s Hammersley Inlet.

According to the Department of Health, at least a dozen people who ate raw oysters in November became ill with symptoms often linked to norovirus, a stomach virus that spreads through contaminated food or surfaces and person to person contact. Lab tests confirmed norovirus in two cases.

All shellfish from the noted area are being recalled for the dates of November 10 to December 5. Shellfish included in the recall were sent to several states, including Oregon, Nevada, Florida, Minnesota, Illinois, California, New York, Maine, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia.

Officials said they used the shellfish tracking system and visited several sites to take samples. At least one of them later tested positive for norovirus.

Inspectors found  no sources of contamination at companies in Hammersely Inslet that harvest and ship shellfish.

However, they did find a leaking septic system which could be the source of the problem. The property owner is working with the Mason County Health Department to permanently fix the issue. A temporary fix is in place.

“This issue underscores the importance of protecting our water and shellfish with good sewage management, especially on properties near shellfish growing areas and their tributaries,” said Jerrod Davis, director for the Office of Shellfish and Water Protection. “Even one failing system can have serious consequences for the safety of our shellfish.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

1 Comment

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.