NEW ORLEANS - Federal officials plan to ban sales of raw oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico unless the shellfish are treated to destroy potentially deadly bacteria - a requirement that opponents say could deprive diners of a delicacy cherished for generations.
The plan has also raised concern among oystermen that they could be pushed out of business.
The Gulf region supplies about two-thirds of U.S. oysters, and some people in the $500 million industry argue that the anti-bacterial procedures are too costly. They insist adequate measures are already being taken to battle germs, including increased refrigeration on oyster boats and warnings posted in restaurants.
this article really pissed me off. as with
all most gov't BS ideas... it makes no sense
About 15 people die each year in the United States from raw oysters infected with Vibrio vulnificus, which typically is found in warm coastal waters between April and October. Most of the deaths occur among people with weak immune systems caused by health problems like liver or kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, or AIDS.
Until the 1960s, raw oysters were rarely eaten in the summertime. (The old adage was never eat oysters in the months without an R in them.) But changes in harvest patterns and advances in refrigeration and post-harvest treatment have made the industry a year-round business. About three-fifths of the Gulf's oysters are harvested during the warm months.
15 deaths a year?!?
& so we should shut down a $500 million industry... the sole livelihood of many families???
why not just return to the old way.... don't sell RAW oysters between April & September???
wouldn't that make a bit more sense??
no... they just want to entirely destroy the product
The anti-bacterial process treats oysters with a method similar to pasteurization, using mild heat, freezing temperatures, high pressure and low-dose gamma radiation.
But doing so "kills the taste, the texture," DeFelice said. "For our local connoisseurs, people who've grown up eating oysters all their lives, there's no comparison" between salty raw oysters and the treated kind.
Treated oysters are "not as bright, the texture seems different," said Donald Link, head chef and owner of the Herbsaint Bar and Restaurant in New Orleans.
"This is an area the government shouldn't meddle in," Link said. "What's next? They're going to tell us we can't eat our beef rare?"
this, to me, was the kicker:
The FDA contends treating oysters would not affect the taste and would save lives.
"Oysters that undergo post-harvest processing treatment will rarely pose a problem," Taylor said, "while those left untreated can have deadly consequences."
The FDA cited California as the best example. In 2003, California banned untreated Gulf Coast oysters and since then "the number of deaths dropped to zero." By comparison, between 1991 and 2001, 40 people died in California from the infection.
that's FOUR people a year!
how many people does smoking kill? or drinking? how many people get choked on apples or p-nut butter? how many have health problems from fried fast-food?? from HFCS???
how many people die each & every day because they have NO health insurance???????
feh! this is just ridiculous!!