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Raw Gulf Oysters Seasonal Restrictions

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The sale of raw, untreated Gulf oysters harvested from April 1 to October 31 is restricted in California.  Persons with certain chronic diseases, especially those associated with liver disease are at high-risk for Vibrio vulnificus infections. Fifty percent of high-risk individuals, who become ill, die. These restrictions strive to improve public health protection for consumers of raw Gulf Oysters.

Gulf oysters that have been subjected to a validated treatment process are exempted from the restrictions.  Food facilities that serve or offer for sale treated Gulf Oysters must have on file a current copy of their shellfish supplier’s certificate of “Verification of Oyster Treatment Process” from the CDPH.

The California Department of Public Health's web site has information regarding shellfish processing companies that have current certificates of "Verification of Oyster Treatment Process." (Select Food Safety under Organization, then select Shellfish & Seafood Safety under Specific Food Programs).

The following shellfish processing companies have current certificates of “Verification of Oyster Treatment Process”:

Ameripure Oyster CompanyCrystal Seas Seafood
Hillman Shrimp and Oyster CompanyJoey Oyster Inc.
Motivatit Seafood, Inc. A and BSoutheastern Seaproducts, Inc
Webb's Seafood, Inc. 

 

There are major requirements for Shellfish Retailers regarding Gulf Oysters.

For additional information, you can contact the Food & Housing Division's Duty Specialist at (858) 505-6900.