Oysters may be linked to Georgia woman's death - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Oysters may be linked to Georgia woman's death

September 11, 2007

Albany--  A seafood scare in North Georgia. Fulton County health officials warn people there not to eat raw shellfish after a woman who ate raw oysters at Spondivits Seafood and Steaks in Hapeville died.

That restaurant is now prohibited from selling any type of shellfish while the woman's death is investigated. Managers at a popular Albany restaurant say customers shouldn't worry about their oysters.

Shucking and selling-- That's the atmosphere at AJ's Seafood and Oysters once the clock hits 4 p.m.

"Oh yes sir. We sell a lot of oysters," said Manager Jill Feldman.

The edible dish in a shell is a popular favorite in Albany. "Very popular," said Feldman.

So popular that Frederick W. Goff ordered two big plate fulls for himself. He's been an oyster fan for 50 years. He decided to try something new on an old favorite. "This has got bacon, cheese, and cut peppers on it," said Goff.

But one of Goff's favorites could be linked to the death of a Fulton County woman. She died August 10th after eating raw oysters at a restaurant. Health officials say the death could be linked to a bacteria in the shellfish.

"They like them raw. They like them baked, steamed, fried," said Feldman. AJ's Manager Jill Feldman says no matter the kind, they work hard to make sure the oysters they sell to customers are safe.

"They have to be kept refrigerated and as soon as they're brought out to the oyster bar, they're carried in ice the whole time that they're in here. They have to stay a certain degree, very cold," said Feldman.

Cold or fried, Frederick Goff loves them. As for his new try? "They're good this way," said Goff.

Despite the bad rap they sometimes get, he doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon. "I've been eating them 50 years and they haven't killed me yet," said Goff.

He'll keep eating as long as his favorite restaurant keeps shucking and selling.

Spondivits sold 125 oysters the day the woman ate there. So far, no other customers have become ill.  

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