The Centre for Food Safety released a statement on Tuesday evening, saying Food Standards Australia New Zealand reported that ready-to-eat raw Pacific oysters harvested in Coffin Bay in Australia were suspectedly contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus and were under recall.

Records showed that the Coffin Bay growing area includes four harvesting areas, namely the Port Douglas harvesting area, the Mount Dutton Bay harvesting area, the Kellidie Bay West harvesting area and the Kellidie Bay East harvesting area.

The center has conducted investigation and contacted local major importers for follow-up after receiving the report.

The center has also instructed businesses to suspend the import into and sale within Hong Kong of all ready-to-eat raw oysters from the Coffin Bay growing areas.

The center added that two importers – Worldwide Seafood and Diligence Marine Products – had imported the affected products to Hong Kong. The first could be reached at hotline 2911 4989 and the latter at hotline 6732 0690.

Both importers were instructed to stop the sale of the affected products, as well as to recall and remove the products from shelves. The center is also tracing the distribution of the oyster products.

A spokesman pointed out that as oysters feed by filtering a large volume of seawater, pathogens such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus can accumulate in them if they are grown in or harvested from contaminated water.

Raw or partially cooked oysters are high-risk foods. Susceptible groups, such as pregnant women, young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems or liver diseases should avoid eating them, the spokesperson reminded.