Woman Dies After Eating Raw Oysters

HAPEVILLE, Ga. (AP) - Fulton County health officials are advising people not to eat raw shellfish because it could be contaminated with a bacteria linked to the death of a woman who ate raw oysters at a restaurant in early August.

The health department did not identify the woman, who died August tenth. She ate uncooked oysters several days before her death.

A corporate chef with Spondivits Seafood and Steaks in Hapeville confirmed that health officials are investigating the restaurant (on Virginia Avenue) near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Corporate chef Glenn Gagne says the restaurant will not serve oysters again until cooler weather.

Oysters and other shellfish harvested from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico in summer months may be contaminated with the bacteria by the time they arrive at restaurants.

The director of Fulton County's Division of Population Health -- James Howgate -- says the health department has prohibited the restaurant from serving any type of shellfish -- raw or cooked -- while it investigates the woman's death.

The chef says the restaurant closed voluntarily for a day at the county's request. He says Spondivits sold 125 orders of oysters on the day the woman ate there, with no other reports of illness.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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