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Maryland Department of the Environment

Bay Journal: States don’t have to make big changes to prevent Vibrio in oysters yet

Current methods deemed suitable to prevent illness in humans, but the FDA is making a case for quicker refrigeration.

Maryland, Virginia and the nation’s other shellfish-producing states are not going to have to make huge changes in the way seafood is stored and transported to protect customers from a rare but dangerous bacteria — at least for now.

Two years ago, the Food and Drug Administration required all states that have the potential to have shellfish containing a bacterium called vibrio to come up with vibrio control plans. The plans included getting the oysters under refrigeration within a certain number of hours in the spring and summer to stop the spread of vibrio, a naturally occurring bacteria that can become rampant when water temperatures soar above 80 degrees.

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