No Raw Oysters Will Be Served At This Weekend's Annual Wellfleet OysterFest


A possible norovirus outbreak is putting a big damper on this weekend's Wellfleet OysterFest.

Organizers of the annual festival announced Friday that they won't be serving up any raw oysters, one day after the state's Department of Public Health closed the town's shellfish beds and issued a recall for shellfish harvested from the area.

Public health officials say in a statement they've received 75 reports of possible cases of norovirus associated with eating raw shellfish at weddings and restaurants on the Outer Cape in recent days. The state is recalling any shellfish harvested in the area on or after Sept. 26.

"This is just one year of the 'Fest and what we care about most is running a safe and fun festival," Michele Insley, executive director of the group that organizes the festival, said in a statement. "We also value the long-term sustainability of our town's second highest revenue producer, shellfishing, so we are erring on the side of caution."

While the festival's namesake bivalve won't be available, the rest of the weekend's festivities will go on as planned, including the annual oyster shucking competition. Organizers say they'll use oysters sourced from other areas.

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Abby Elizabeth Conway Digital Producer/Editor
Abby Elizabeth Conway was formerly a digital producer and editor at WBUR.



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