One of the constantly nagging negatives that comes with enjoying our waters' most popular mollusk is the fear of getting sick. The oyster industry is no less a stranger to recalls than a frequent eater of the bivalve is to bad stomach aches. Analysts from Louisiana State University (LSU), though, are aiming to rectify this situation. As houmatoday.com reports, LSU has begun an initiative that aims to aid local oyster harvesters in testing for harmful bacteria, viruses, and other malignant microbes in our harvested oysters. If successful, this project could result in a noticeable decrease in the economic pains the industry suffers due to recalls, as well as clearer indications for customers that their food is entirely safe. This whole project is not just a local effort, though it may be grounded in Louisiana natives. A stunning 30 to 40 percent of the entire U.S. oyster supply comes from Louisiana harvesters, so any betterment to health protocols down here will help serve the entire nation, as well as our home state of Louisiana.
NASA has graciously given LSU a $750,000 grant to produce effective test results on oyster beds and deliver said results to the government for proper regulation, should the bed prove unsafe. Considering the frightening statistic that around 80,000 people suffer from oyster-induced vibriosis—an infection caused by certain water-based bacteria—every year, any effective efforts to reduce this tendency will be well met by any and all who enjoy seafood on the regular. This aid will also be greatly appreciated by restaurants who specialize in this department, as the pandemic has already smashed most indoor dining income streams without the detriment of vibriosis worsening matters. With any luck, LSU's efforts will be successful, and we will witness a return to form for the Louisiana oyster industry sooner rather than later.