2006_07_food_Oysters.JPGIf you can't bear the thought of eating hot food on a day like today and you've got a craving for oysters on the half shell, you might want to think twice. According to the New York Times, 74 New Yorkers have gotten sick eating raw oysters originating from the Pacific Northwest:

Both the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Food and Drug Administration have warned people not to eat the oysters, which are infected with naturally occurring bacteria that are most prevalent in the summer, when water temperature rises.

In recent months, the F.D.A. said, there has been “an unusual increase in bacterial illness associated with eating raw oysters’’ from waters of the lower Puget Sound in Washington. Washington State issued a recall of the oysters last week.

No deaths have been reported, but symptoms include "diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills." Lovely. We'll just try to make do with East Coast oysters. Sigh.

Learn more about oysters on Wikipedia.