Precaution for Rhode Island fishers

By Gilannie Pangburn

Twitter: @gilanniej05

The Rhode Island department of health is urging local fishers to take precautions when handling shellfish. The warning comes after the health department received a report of an individual who became ill due to “Vibrio Parahaemolyticus” the symptoms can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever and chills symptoms usually last two or three days.

Dr. Michael Fine issued the following statement: “We encourage Rhode Islanders who like shellfish to continue to enjoy eating them, It's important that those who catch their own shellfish take the necessary steps to protect themselves from illness.”


Do not eat raw oysters, clams, mussels, or shellfish.

Bring a cooler and ice packs with you while fishing so that all shellfish can be cooled immediately.

Cook all shellfish thoroughly. For shellfish in a hard shell (clams, oysters, mussels), boil for five minutes after the shells open or steam for 9 minutes after the shells open. Do not eat clams, oysters, or mussels that do not open during cooking. Boil shucked oysters for at least 3 minutes or fry in oil that is 375 degrees for 3 minutes.

Eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerate leftovers.

Clean surfaces, cutting boards, and utensils after they have come in contact with raw shellfish or shellfish juices.

Harvest shellfish from approved areas only and refrigerate shellfish immediately.

Rhode Island department of health has suggested that if anyone has eaten raw or improperly cooked shellfish and has symptoms should contact their health provider.