Food-borne diseases such as salmonellosis can be attributed, in part, to the consumption of raw oysters. To determine the prevalence of Salmonella spp. in oysters, oysters harvested from 36 U.S. bays (12 each from the West, East, and Gulf coasts in the summer of 2002, and 12 bays, four per coast, in the winter of 2002-2003) were tested. Salmonella was isolated from oysters from each coast of the United States, and 7.4% of all oysters tested contained Salmonella. Isolation tended to be bay specific, with some bays having a high prevalence of Salmonella, while other bays had none. Differences in the percentage of oysters from which Salmonella was isolated were observed between the summer and winter months, with winter numbers much lower probably due to a variety of weather-related events. The vast majority (78/101) of Salmonella isolates from oysters were Salmonella enterica serovar Newport, a major human pathogen, confirming the human health hazard of raw oyster consumption. Contrary to previous findings, no relationship was found between the isolation of fecal coliforms and Salmonella from oysters, indicating a necessity for specific monitoring for Salmonella and other pathogens rather than the current reliance on fecal coliform testing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology