Remember how the food safety crackdown was going to be a win-win affair for all of us, with only the sinister interests of Big Food having anything real to lose? New Orleans Times-Picayune:
In an effort to reduce cases of a rare, but potentially fatal, bacterial illness contracted from raw oysters, the FDA announced new rules this month that will require any oyster served from April through October to undergo a sterilization process before it can be sold in restaurants or on the market.
The rule will essentially eliminate raw oysters — at least as Louisianans know them — from restaurant menus for seven months of the year. Even oysters that will eventually be cooked during those months would have to go through the same cleansing process before being added to any dish, a move some say would undermine the culinary integrity of some of New Orleans’ most famous delicacies. …
C.J. Casamento, the owner of Casamento’s restaurant on Magazine Street, said many chefs have tried the sterilized oysters in the past but have stopped because the flavor isn’t the same. … “If they try to implement this, it will destroy all the raw oyster restaurants in the city.”
Another restaurant owner, Tommy Cvitanovich of Drago’s, called the rules “ludicrous”, pointing out that they will also require sterilization of oysters destined for cooked use in gumbos, broils and po’ boys. Processor Mike Voisin compared the new guidelines to a “nuclear bomb” on the oyster business. And Louisiana state health officials, as well as fisheries officials, have assailed the new rules as going too far.