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FDA bans Korean Shellfish Distribution

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 21, 2012)—The Food and Drug Administration pulled firms that transport Korean shellfish off its list of approved shippers on May 1 and said it may launch “a fairly extensive recall of the product” — specifically fresh, frozen or processed oysters, clams, mussels and scallops.

The FDA cited risks from water and land-based pollution, and said any imports from the nation prior to this month shouldn’t be sold or consumed.

The contamination may lead the shellfish to carry the norovirus, which isn’t typically life-threatening and can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping. No illnesses from the consumption of Korean shellfish have been reported this year, Allen said. Korean shellfish represents a small amount of the shellfish sold in the U.S., he said.

There has yet to be any recently reported illnesses caused by Korean shellfish. MPR reported that last fall three people in Seattle got sick after eating oysters from South Korea.

The FDA is working to determine where the product has been distributed.

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