China halts raw oyster imports from US

Updated: 2011-09-30 22:58


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BEIJING - China said Friday it has halted the import of raw oysters from the US State of Washington after reports of an illness outbreak.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said it has also recalled raw oysters already imported from the state by Chinese companies.

The US Food and Drug Administration earlier this week warned consumers not to eat raw oysters harvested from the Hood Canal area of Washington following an outbreak of illness in the state caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria.

China has conducted tests for the bacteria in raw oysters imported from other US states as well as seafood imported from other countries, the AQSIQ said in a statement on its website.

There have not been any reports of illness caused by eating raw oysters imported from Washington yet in China, according to the AQSIQ, which noted that most raw oysters in the Chinese market are produced domestically.

The administration advised consumers to cook seafood thoroughly before eating.

In response to a listeria outbreak involving tainted cantaloupes in the US, the AQSIQ said China has not imported U.S. cantaloupes.

China has demanded all airlines operating flights between China and the U.S. stop serving raw or cold foods, like cantaloupes, on planes flying from the US to China, said the AQSIQ.