San Diego Health Department issues restriction on Gulf oysters

San Diego issued the following notice today:

There are restrictions on the sale of oysters from the Gulf of Mexico. Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 13675, establishes the requirements for the sale of raw oysters harvested from the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas).

The following are the three major provisions of this section:

1. The sale of raw, untreated Gulf oysters harvested from April 1 to October 31 is restricted in California.

2. Gulf oysters that have been subjected to a validated treatment process are exempted from the restrictions. Treatment processes are required to be verified by the CA Department of Public Health (CDPH) to reduce Vibrio vulnificus to non-detectable levels.

3. Warning signs in English and Spanish shall be posted if untreated raw Gulf oysters are sold to consumers between November 1 and March 31.
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 following shellfish processing companies have current certificates of “Verification of Oyster Treatment Process”: Ameripure Oyster Company, Crystal Seas Seafood, Hillman Shrimp and Oyster Company, Joey Oyster Inc, Motivatit Seafood, Inc. A and B Webb’s Seafood, Inc.

Gulf oysters treated by these processes are exempt from the sales restrictions and warning sign requirements, as long as their Verification of Oyster Treatment Process remains current. 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 regulations strive to improve public health protection for consumers of raw Gulf Oysters.

Additional information can be obtained by consulting the California Department of Public Health’s web site at

For additional information, contact the Food and Housing Division’s Duty Specialist at (858) 505-6900.