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Health officials: No cause found yet in 42nd St. Oyster Bar illnesses

Posted December 31, 2009

42nd St. Oyster Bar, on West Jones Street in downtown Raleigh

— County health officials have not determined what caused an illness among several people who had eaten at the 42nd St. Oyster Bar in downtown Raleigh.

42nd St. Oyster Bar Health officials probe sickness at oyster bar

About 40 people have reported getting sick after eating at the popular restaurant on West Jones Street, said Andre Pierce, Wake County's environmental health and safety director. The complaints started on Nov. 30, and the frequency picked up last week.

Pierce said the county tested stool samples from five people reporting food-borne illnesses after eating at the restaurant. Two of those people were found to be ill with the norovirus, which is associated with a variety of illnesses including viral gastroenteritis and food poisoning.

Public health officials are still investigating the illness outbreak, Pierce said.

No illness reports have been received from people who dined at the restaurant since Dec. 22.

Owner Brad Hurley said last week the illnesses were likely caused by steamed oysters shipped from Louisiana.

"The common thread has been that people have eaten steamed oysters, and we've isolated it down to all of those steamed oysters coming out of Louisiana," Hurley said.

After the illnesses, the restaurant immediately stopped serving the Louisiana oysters and started using only oysters from North Carolina, he said.

Health workers are evaluating cases and symptoms. Anyone who has eaten at the restaurant in the past three weeks and later felt ill is asked to call the county health department at 919-856-7400.


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  • grenlyn1 Jan 1, 2010

    So it took from November 30th till December 22 to discover what caused these illnesses or did someone decide to continue to serve oysters for LA until someone confirmed it was the oysters. I loved eating that 42nd however wouldn't it have been better to disconintue the oysters if all of the customers had gotten sick after eating them? Why did they continue to serve them for three weeks????

  • PC is for Losers Dec 31, 2009

    I think about getting sick when I eat oysters and I'd like to think that most do. I still eat them because they are jammin'. 42nd's oysters were always good and didn't make me sick when they came from Apalachicola FLA. They may want to consider going back there for their supply...though any oyster can rough you up. Just 'cause I felt a little rough after oysters in Seatle doesn't mean I won't go back to the same restaurant for more on my next trip. It's the risk you take by going out to eat.

  • workingforthosethatwont Dec 31, 2009

    the restaurant could at least offer a steak dinner to those who were effected.

  • Southern Girl Dec 31, 2009

    Hope 42nd Street recovers from this, but I doubt it.

    Restaurants must always be careful. WHY oysters from LA? My guess is that they are getting the cheapest oysters that they can buy, and they sell them for the most EXPENSIVE price.

    We love 42nd Street - go there all the time. Not any more. Not worth the risk.

    Hopefully, the restaurant will be forth-coming about the problems, why it happened * they know the reason, and they will make it right. If not, they will close.

  • BIGDAWGShouse Dec 31, 2009

    jthomas...be quiet...if the cause is from the oysters, then the restaurant couldn't have known....trigger happy lawsuits=great country we live in

  • Deacons Dec 31, 2009

    I have NEVER had good food there. Shrimp at the Farmer's Market Seafood is MUCH better, in fact, I think it is the best in the State. I would not eat an oyster from anywhere.

  • scampering aka running Dec 31, 2009

    No crowd at 42nd Street for New Years tonight!!

  • clickclackity2 Dec 31, 2009

    Hmm..the county agency said there was nothing to worry about with the EVOO sickness and they didn't know what caused that! So, if we are waiting on the County to determine anything, then they won't until there is a national recall done by the FDA or other competent agency.

  • Bellamia Dec 31, 2009

    No, I think you ate somewhere in Cary. 42nd has Great food, Service, with out the snobby atmosphere.

  • scarletindurham Dec 31, 2009

    I'm sure the employees there will appreciate you've posted this unneccessary non-news article tonight when no one shows up for the New Years party.