Aw, shucks: Raw B.C. oysters allowed back in restaurants


The great raw oyster withdrawal of 2015 is now over: Vancouver Coastal Health is giving the green light to local restaurants to serve raw oysters harvested in British Columbia once again, following a month-long moratorium due to safety concerns.

Image: Raw oyster via Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: Oysters harvested in B.C. waters must be cooked due to bacteria: Coastal Health

As of August 12, area restaurants were required to cook all B.C.-harvested oysters in light of an outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection.

To date, there have been 60 reported cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in B.C. related to raw shellfish consumption, of which 28 came from the region monitored by VCH.

We can thank the return of the risk factors to their baseline levels for the ban lift, which means more local options for raw oysters at Vancouver’s plentiful seafood restaurants. Diners will, of course, still see the warning notice on menus regarding the risks of consuming raw shellfish; those have been in place in Vancouver since 2007.

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail:

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