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The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

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DHMH Press Releases : Shellfish Advisory Expanded



BALTIMORE, MD (June 11, 2012) -Based on updated information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) related to shellfish from Korea, The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) is now advising consumers not to eat any fresh, frozen, and processed (including canned) Korean molluscan shellfish and any product subsequently made with them. This advisory extends back two (2) years for frozen shellfish and three (3) for canned molluscan shellfish, including oysters, clams, and mussels, whole and roe-on scallops, either shucked or in the shell, whole or in part. Crabs and shrimp are not molluscan shellfish and are not part of this advisory. Shellfish grown and produced in Maryland are not affected by this advisory. There are no recent cases of illness in Maryland known to be related to Korean shellfish.

Because of inadequate sanitation controls, molluscan shellfish harvested from Korean waters may have been exposed to human fecal waste and have the potential to be contaminated with norovirus. Korean molluscan shellfish that entered the United States prior to May 1 and any product made with Korean molluscan shellfish are considered adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. DHMH is working with distributors and local health agencies to ensure that these products are removed from store shelves. There is not a need at this time for public health agencies to have the product tested.

Advice to Consumers

  • Before you purchase molluscan shellfish from a restaurant or grocery store, check with the establishment to determine the country of origin of the product. If the product is from Korea, and produced within that last two (2) years for frozen products, or within the last three (3) years for canned products, do not purchase it.
  • If you have already purchased these products, these should be discarded so that no person or animal can eat them. When in doubt, don't eat it.
  • If you have eaten these products and are concerned about recent symptoms, you should contact your health care provider.
  • For more information, contact the FDA


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