The recent decision by Vancouver Coastal Health to ban the serving of raw oysters in all restaurants, in an area covering much of the lower mainland, and parts of the Sunshine Coast, is having a huge impact on the industry.

That from Roberta Stevenson, Executive Director of the BC Shellfish Growers Association, on potential contamination from an ocean-dwelling bacterium.

Stevenson says inspection standards and overall regulation of the industry, are among the most stringent in the world…

Stevenson says the economic toll on producers is significant, with much of the province’s shellfish coming from Baynes Sound in the Comox Valley area.

Meanwhile in another blow to the shellfish sector, a major recall of all BC oysters harvested to be eaten raw, has been ordered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The industry recall, from all restaurants and stores, covers oysters harvested prior to August 18th…Roberta Stevenson responds…

The recall and an earlier ban of raw serving from Vancouver Coastal Health is the result of possible contamination from the ocean-dwelling bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

Cooking oysters kills the bacteria and makes them safe for consumption.

Closer to home in the Comox Valley, Island Health has launched an information and awareness based campaign targeting the hospitality sector.