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Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

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Statewide Initiatives



211 - Get Connected. Get Answers.

Food Safety for Seafood

The Louisiana Administrative Code Title 51 Part XXIII requires the following regarding seafood products at retail food establishments:
Seafood-includes but is not limited to fish, shellfish, edible crustaceans, marine and freshwater animal food products.

Raw Shellfish Consumer Information Message [formerly paragraph 22:08-5.1]

A. All establishments that sell or serve raw oysters must display signs, menu notices, table tents, or other clearly visible messages at point of sale with either of the following wording:

  1. "THERE MAY BE A RISK ASSOCIATED WITH CONSUMING RAW SHELLFISH AS IS THE CASE WITH OTHER RAW PROTEIN PRODUCTS. IF YOU SUFFER FROM CHRONIC ILLNESS OF THE LIVER, STOMACH OR BLOOD OR HAVE OTHER IMMUNE DISORDERS, YOU SHOULD EAT THESE PRODUCTS FULLY COOKED"; or
  2. "CONSUMING RAW OR UNDERCOOKED MEATS, POULTRY, SEAFOOD, SHELLFISH OR EGGS MAY INCREASE YOUR RISK OF FOODBORNE ILLNESS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE CERTAIN MEDICAL CONDITIONS."

B. In addition, either of the above messages in Subsection A of this Section must appear on the principal display panel or top of containers of pre-packaged raw oysters. This may be done by printing on the container or by pressure sensitive labels.

C. In addition, one of the following messages must appear on the tag of each sack or other container of unshucked raw oysters:

  1. "THERE MAY BE A RISK ASSOCIATED WITH CONSUMING RAW SHELLFISH AS IS THE CASE WITH OTHER RAW PROTEIN PRODUCTS. IF YOU SUFFER FROM CHRONIC ILLNESS OF THE LIVER, STOMACH OR BLOOD OR HAVE OTHER IMMUNE DISORDERS, YOU SHOULD EAT THESE PRODUCTS FULLY COOKED";
  2. "RETAILERS, INFORM YOUR CUSTOMERS- Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions"; or equivalent wording as approved by the state authority (see LAC 51:IX.323.B.6.).

AUTHORITY NOTE: Promulgated in accordance with R.S. 40:4.A.(1) and R.S. 40:5(2)(3)(5)(7)(15).
HISTORICAL NOTE: Promulgated by the Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health, LR 28:319 (February 2002), amended LR 28:1412 (June 2002), amended by the Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health, Center for Environmental Health Services, LR 34:445 (March 2008).
ยง1111. Exemption to Raw Shellfish Consumer Information Message
[formerly paragraph 22:08-5.2]


A. Food establishments that exclusively serve raw molluscan shellfish that have been subjected to a process recognized by the state health officer as being effective in reducing the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus to non-detectable levels may apply for an exemption from the mandatory consumer information notification requirement. Food establishments interested in obtaining an exemption shall certify in writing to the state health officer that it shall use exclusively for raw consumption only molluscan shellfish that have been subjected to the approved process. Upon receipt and verification of that communication, the state health officer may confirm the establishment as being exempt from the requirement of displaying the consumer information message. The food establishment's certification must be sent to the state health officer at the following address:


Louisiana Office of Public Health
P.O. Box 629
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0629


Fish, shellfish, edible crustaceans, marine and fresh water animal food products shall be obtained from sources according to law and Part IX of the state sanitary code. Shellstock tags shall be retained by the food establishment or retail food store/market for 90 days after service or sale to the consumer.

For more information please visit our Commercial Seafood Website: