Tuesday October 27, 2009
In 2003, California banned the sale of untreated Gulf oysters during the summer months. Prior to the ban, 40 deaths in California were attributed to Gulf oysters harvested in warm-weather months in the ten-year period between 1991 and 2001. Since the ban, no deaths have occurred. The success of the California experiment inspired the national ban. The industry has failed repeatedly to come up with its own plan to reduce deaths and illnesses related to vibrio.
Gulf oysters are at their peak in mid-winter. The public oyster season in Texas is open from November to April.