A man has died after contracting a bacterial infection from eating a raw oyster at the Rustic Inn Crab house in Dania Beach, Florida.
His death was traced to the bacteria, Vibrio, which is typically found in raw or undercooked seafood, like oysters.
According to the report, the manager of the Rustic Inn, Gary Oreal, said the man who died was a former employee who had dined there earlier this month when the restaurant served as many as 100 dozen oysters. He was the only person who became sick.
“He had that one in a billion that was bad. I feel horrible.”
Oreal said that the inspectors from the Florida Department of Health went to look at the kitchen and examined the oyster inventory the day after the man was hospitalized, but they passed with flying colors and were allowed to continue to sell oysters.
Neither the restaurant nor the health department identified the man who died.
Oreal also mentioned that the oysters that are now being served are from Louisiana, so if there were to be a problem they would know because other patrons would have gotten sick as well.
“Oysters are top of the mountain for dangerous foods to eat. I have eaten them my entire life and will continue. But you are putting yourself at risk when you do it.”
According to the Florida Department of Health website, there have been 26 cases in 2022 of people in Florida who have been infected with the bacterium Vibrio vulnificus. Six of them became ill and later died.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that an oyster containing Vibrio, will not look, smell or taste different from other oysters and that this may happen more often from May to October when water temperatures are warmer.
The CDC estimates that about 80,000 people get vibriosis and about 100 people die from it in the U.S. every year.
According to reports anywhere from 500 to 1000 people a day dine at the Fort Lauderdale landmark seafood restaurant this time of the year.
“Over the course of 60 years, we have served a couple billion oysters and we never had anyone get sick like this guy did,” Oreal stated.