Oysters from the Arcachon basin temporarily banned for sale

A few days before New Year’s Eve, this comes at a bad time. Oysters from the Arcachon basin were declared temporarily banned for sale after “several cases of collective food poisoning”announced the Gironde prefecture in a press release published Wednesday, December 27 in the evening. “The symptoms are those of acute gastroenteritis and no serious cases have been reported to date”said the authorities.

Traceability investigations are underway but several reports already indicate that oysters from the Arcachon basin “are in question”analyzes carried out on locally farmed oysters having confirmed the presence of “norovirus”.

In consultation with health organizations, the prefecture has therefore temporarily banned fishing, harvesting and marketing activities intended for human consumption of all shellfish from the Arcachon basin, including the Banc d’Arguin.

“As of today, batches of shellfish harvested or fished in these areas must be withdrawn from sale. People who have shellfish from these areas are asked not to consume them and to return them to the point of sale.says the prefectural press release.

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The profession asks “who will pay the bill”

This measure, which will be lifted “as soon as the health quality of the shellfish becomes fully satisfactory again”primarily affects oyster farmers, whose production was to grace many tables on Sunday evening, for New Year’s Eve on December 31.

The profession says “victim of the saturation of wastewater and rainwater networks”, which generates “overflows into the natural environment”, contaminating production areas, according to a press release from the Arcachon Aquitaine Regional Shellfish Farming Committee (CRCAA). “Two months after the storms which destroyed several hectares of oyster farms on the Banc d’Arguin”professionals fear “an unprecedented economic crisis” and ask “who will pay the bill”.

Oyster production in the area concerned is around 8,000 tonnes per year, or 10% of national production, according to the latest figures available from the CRCAA and Agreste (agricultural statistics).

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The World with AFP

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