Seafood, particularly shellfish, may contain a variety of pathogenic microorganisms that impose a threat to the consumers' health. These potential pathogens include both indigenous organisms and contaminating organisms. Pathogens may contaminate the seafood after harvest or during processing. Some indigenous pathogens found are Vibrio, Clostridium botulinum type E,Aeromonas, and poisonous phytoplankton such as dinoflagellates (111,112). Extraneous pathogens include Salmonella, Shigella, Listeria, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Bacillus cereus, Hepatitis A, and Norwalk virus (64,112).
The consumption of bivalves is of greatest concern to the public due to several factors. Bivalves, especially oysters, are frequently consumed raw. The whole animal is consumed rather than just the muscle tissue, as in the case
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