Logo (since 1999)
Food Articles, News & Features Section



Chef working

  You are here > 

HomeFood ArticlesSafe Food Storage & Cooking >  Vibrio & Shellfish



More than 1,000 schools & classes listed for all 50 States, Online and Worldwide

See also: Food Safety Videos



Vibrio bacteria are common and occur naturally in marine environments. They are unrelated to pollution. Most do not cause illness. The two types of Vibrio of most concern to seafood consumers are:

Vibrio parahaemolyticus (V.p.) found along all U.S. coasts during certain times of year, particularly in warm summer months in some raw mollusks – oysters, mussels and clams.

Vibrio vulnificus (V.v.) a species found in coastal waters around the U.S., particularly the Gulf of Mexico in warmer months of the year.

• V.p., when ingested through consumption of raw or undercooked shellfish, can cause gastrointestinal illness within 24 hours. Illness may last up to three days, but more severe cases are rare.

• V.v. does not typically affect healthy people but can cause illness in high-risk individuals, including those with liver disease and weakened immune systems.

• To increase the safety of shellfish the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state health departments manage an inspection system called the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP). NSSP regulates shellfish growing areas, the care and handling of shellfish, and requires harvesters and dealers to be licensed and certified.

• In 2005, the FDA approved irradiation as an additional post-harvest treatment to enhance the safety of shellfish products. Other treatments include quick freezing, low heat pasteurization, and high pressure processing. These treatments eliminate or reduce Vibrio to safe levels.

• Consumers can avoid Vibrio-related illness by following current advice. At-risk consumers should enjoy shellfish cooked or specially processed and avoid other raw animal proteins. When purchasing shellfish:

• Verify that shellfish is from an approved source,

• Make sure shellfish is stored under proper refrigeration or ice and,

• If you are bringing it home, refrigerate raw shellfish immediately and keep it refrigerated until eaten.



  * Recalls, Complaints, Emergency #s etc   |   Hurricane Food Safety   |   Holiday Cooking Safety Tips   |   Fall Winter Food Safety   |   Almonds: New Regulations   |   Bugs for Breakfast?   |   Canned Food: Can it be cooked in the can?   |   Cleaning Kitchens   |   Cooking Temperatures   |   Defrosting Food Safely   |   Expanding Sausage Package   |   Food Safety Act of 2011   |   Food Safety I: Purchasing & Storing   |   Food Safety II: Preparing & Serving   |   Food Safety - How Safe is Our Food?   |   Homemade Ice Cream Safety   |   Kiss It Up To God: The 5 Second Rule   |   Kitchen Sponges & Bacteria   |   Listeria Contamination   |   Salad Bars, Are They Safe?   |   Summertime Food Safety Hints   |   Summer Picnic Food Safety   |   Vibrio & Shellfish  

Go to Top of page

  Home   |   About & Contact Us   |   Chef James Bio   |   Website Bibliography   |   Recipe Contests   |   Food Links  

Please feel free to link to any pages of from your website.
For permission to use any of this content please E-mail: [email protected]
All contents are copyright © 1990 - 2018 James T. Ehler and unless otherwise noted.  All rights reserved.
You may copy and use portions of this website for non-commercial, personal use only.
Any other use of these materials without prior written authorization is not very nice and violates the copyright.
Please take the time to request permission.