Answers Activity 47


Ever since Roman times they have been eaten for their aphrodisiac qualities. These days raw oysters are known simply as the food of love.

It follows the latest advice from the Food Standards Agency, which encourages consumers to steer clear of raw shellfish to avoid being poisoned.

Despite the outcry, the FSA is sticking to its line, warning that oysters not only carry the risk of food poisoning, but also the potentially deadly liver disease hepatitis A. And, in a thinly unveiled attack on high-profile restaurateurs, it adds that consumers should not assume they will be safer ordering raw oysters from a reputable source.

Marco Pierre White, the first English chef to win three Michelin stars, said he had not had any problems, despite certain customers swallowing 18 oysters in one sitting.

Alan Crompton-Batt, a spokesman for White, condemned the advice as 'very heavy-handed' and said: 'The chances of being served an oyster that would cause food poisoning in any reputable restaurant are negligible. Anyone with any experience at all would know right away whether an oyster was dead.' Television chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson described the guidance as 'a joke' and said a proud industry could be destroyed by such scaremongering.

A statement from the FSA says: 'We appreciate that many people enjoy eating oysters raw and will continue to do so. However, it is clear that there is a possible risk of food poisoning and people deserve all the available information in order to make an informed choice.'



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