State halts sale of oysters

By Bob Paslay

The Georgia Department of Agriculture has stopped the sale and movement of 95 bags of oysters at a M orrow seafood dealer because of violations of state food laws, Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin said.

Department of Agriculture inspectors visited Royal Hunan Seafood of Georgia at 1091 Fred Drive in Morrow. The inspectors found the company selling oysters labeled only for shucking by a certified dealer, Irvin said.

In addition, they found some of the harvest date information on intermediate dealer tags did not match harvest date information on original tags. The oysters were also muddy and had not been cleaned, Irvin said.

"Shellfish have very specific requirements as to how they are sold and handled," said Irvin. "Improper handling can lead to life-threatening situations," Irvin said. "it is imperative that health officials be able to accurately trace where oysters originate in case there is a problem in one of the harvest areas. Having an accurate chain of custody is a requirement."

The 95 bags were part of a 150-bag shipment the company received from Florida. "We will be checking records to determine where the other 55 bags were distributed We have notified the Georgia Department of Public Health in case some were sent to restaurants," Irvin said.

Several calls to the business by the News Daily did not elicit a response.