Please cook your oysters - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Please cook your oysters

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SEATTLE (AP) - With the 4th of July coming up, the Department of Health would like to remind Washingtonians to thoroughly cook their oysters.

The department says that cooking shellfish until the shells open is not enough for kill harmful bacteria. Summer's warmer temperatures mean that levels of the bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus increase in state waters. Eating an oyster with the Vibrio bacteria can lead to diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, and chills. It says that symptoms usually appear within 12-24 hours after eating infected shellfish and usually last from two to seven days.

The department recommends oysters should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees for at least 15 seconds to thoroughly kill the bacteria.

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