Florida man dies of bacterial infection after eating raw oyster from seafood restaurant: Manager says he ate ‘one in a billion’ that was bad
- The unnamed man was visiting the restaurant in late July when he ordered a portion of oysters
- A few days later, he was hospitalized and tests confirmed he had vibriosis, which is typically contracted by eating undercooked seafood.
- Restaurant manager Gary Oreal said that hasn’t happened in the “few billion” oysters they’ve received
- The man was at Fort Lauderdale’s finest restaurant on a day when it served 100 dozen shellfish. No one else has gotten sick to date
A Florida man has died of a bacterial infection after eating a raw oyster at a restaurant in what the manager called a “one in a billion” moment.
The unnamed individual — who worked at the family’s Rustic Inn Crabhouse two decades ago as a busboy — dined there in late July but quickly fell ill.
Doctors later confirmed that he had been infected with vibrio, a bacteria typically caught from eating raw or undercooked seafood that can kill up to a third of the people it infects.
Restaurant manager Gary Oreal confirmed the death to DailyMail.com, saying it had never happened before. The man was at the Fort Lauderdale store the day he served 100 dozen shellfish. No other illnesses were reported.
Celebrities like LeBron James and Blac Chyna frequented the Rustic Inn before they were eager to try its famous garlic crab. Locals also claim that Johnny Depp once worked there as a busboy.
The unnamed man ate oysters at the Rustic Inn Crabhouse in late July but quickly became ill (pictured above is the restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
Doctors later confirmed he had been infected with vibrio, a bacteria typically picked up by eating raw or undercooked seafood
LeBron James is pictured visiting a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in October 2015
The unnamed man ate an oyster at the Rustic Inn Crabhouse that was not properly cooked. Dined at a restaurant late last month and fell ill a few days later (file)
Oreal told DailyMail.com: “It is very unfortunate what happened to our customer.
“He was a busboy in the last place he had here. We are a family restaurant and he worked there for a while.’
When asked about the incident, Oreal told the Sun Sentinel that “we’ve never had anyone get sick like this guy.”
Vibriosis: Disease caused by uncooked seafood
Vibriosis is a disease caused by the consumption of Vibrio bacteria.
It is normally ingested by eating raw or undercooked seafood. However, it can also become infected by exposing damaged skin to seawater.
Infected people tend to suffer from watery diarrhea, cramping, nausea and vomiting within the first 24 hours.
But in most cases, the disease remains mild and resolves within three days without treatment.
Depending on the strain, up to a third of those infected may die from the disease.
In some cases, antibiotics may be used to control the infection.
About 100 people die from this disease in the US each year.
“He had this one in a billion that was bad. I feel terrible,” Oreal added.
Since the fatal incident, health officials from the Florida Department of Health visited the restaurant and after an inspection gave the kitchen the green light to continue serving.
The oysters served are from the Louisiana Bay Area and so far no others have been found to cause illness to another customer.
A mainstay on Fort Lauderdale’s waterfront, the Rustic Inn has been open for more than 50 years and is famous locally for its garlic crab dish.
Johnny Depp previously worked there as a busboy for a summer job, according to local publication Venice.
And since then, several celebrities have dined there, including Lebron James, Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna.
When asked about eating oysters, Oreal responded: “Oysters are the top of the mountain of dangerous foods to eat. I eat them all my life and I will eat them. But you put yourself at risk if you do.’
Vibrio bacteria – which trigger the disease vibriosis – are usually caught by eating raw or undercooked seafood.
Patients typically experience watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting within the first 24 hours of ingesting the bacteria — with symptoms lasting three days.
But severe disease is “rare,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unless someone has a weakened immune system.
Treatment is not necessary in mild cases, although antibiotics may be used in more severe cases.
About one in three people who catch the bacteria will die from the infection, while it also accounts for 95 percent of deaths in the states.
Estimates suggest that about 100 people in the United States die each year from infection with this bacteria.
It is the second death in Florida this year, after another man in Pensacola County died of a bacterial infection after eating a raw oyster he bought at a market.
Vibrio infections associated with seafood are more common in the summer months—May through October—due to warmer waters.