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Former waiter at Florida restaurant dies from bacterial infection after eating raw oyster

Florida man dies from bacterial infection after eating a raw oyster from seafood restaurant: Manager says he ate the ‘one in a billion’ that was bad

  • An unnamed man was visiting the restaurant in late July when he ordered a portion of oysters
  • Several days later he was hospitalized and testing confirmed he had vibriosis, which is typically caught from eating undercooked seafood
  • Restaurant manager Gary Oreal said it had not happened before out of the ‘couple billion’ oysters they had received
  • Man was at the top Fort Lauderdale restaurant on day when it served 100 dozen of the shellfish. No one else has fallen ill to date 

A Florida man has died from 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 family-run Rustic Inn Crabhouse two decades ago as a busboy — dined there in late July but quickly fell ill.

Medics later confirmed he was infected with vibrio, a bacteria typically caught from eating raw or undercooked seafood that can kill up to a third of people it infects.

Restaurant manager Gary Oreal confirmed the fatality to DailyMail.com, saying it had never happened before. The man was at the Fort Lauderdale business on the day when it served 100 dozen shellfish. There have been no other reported illnesses.

Celebrities including LeBron James and Blac Chyna have frequented the Rustic Inn before eager to try its famous garlic crab. It is also claimed locally that Johnny Depp once worked there as a busboy.

The unnamed man ate oysters while at the Rustic Inn Crabhouse in late July but quickly fell ill (Pictured above is the restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Medics later confirmed he had been infected with vibrio, a bacteria typically caught from eating raw or undercooked seafood

Medics later confirmed he had been infected with vibrio, a bacteria typically caught from eating raw or undercooked seafood

LeBron James pictured visiting the restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in October 2015

LeBron James pictured visiting the restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in October 2015

The unnamed man ate an oyster at the Rustic Inn Crabhouse which had not been properly cooked. He had dined at the restaurant late last month, nad fell ill several days afterwards (file)

The unnamed man ate an oyster at the Rustic Inn Crabhouse which had not been properly cooked. He had dined at the restaurant late last month, nad fell ill several days afterwards (file)

Oreal told DailyMail.com: ‘It is very unfortunate what happened to our customer. 

‘He was a busboy in the last position that he had here. We are a family-run restaurant and he worked here for a bit.’

Asked about the incident, Oreal told the Sun Sentinel that ‘we never had anyone get sick like this guy did’.

Vibriosis: Illness caught from uncooked seafood

Vibriosis is a disease triggered by consuming the bacteria Vibrio.

Normally, this is ingested through eating raw or undercooked seafood. However, it can also be caught from exposing damaged skin to seawater.

Infected people tend to suffer watery diarrhea, cramps, nausea and vomiting within the first 24 hours.

But in most cases the illness remains mild and clears up in three days without treatment.

Depending on the strain, up to a third of people infected may die from the disease.

In some cases antibiotics may be used to fight off the infection.

About 100 people die from the illness in the U.S. every year. 

Source: CDC

‘He had that one-in-a-billion that was bad. I feel horrible,’ Oreal added.

Since the fatality, health officials from the Florida Department of Health have visited the restaurant and, after inspection, given its kitchens the green light to continue serving.

The oysters served are sourced from the Louisiana bay area, and no others have cropped up so far that made another customer sick.

A major hub on Fort Lauderdale seafront, the Rustic Inn has been open for more than 50 years and become 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 several celebrities have since been to dine there including Lebron James as well as Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna.

Asked about eating oysters, Oreal said: ‘Oysters are top of the mountain for dangerous foods to eat. I have eaten them my entire life, and will continue to. But you are putting yourself at risk when you do it.’

The bacteria vibrio — which triggers the illness vibriosis — are typically caught from eating raw or undercooked seafood.

Patients normally suffer watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting within the first 24 hours of ingesting the bacteria — with the symptoms lasting for three days.

But severe illness is ‘rare’, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, unless someone has a weakened immune system.

Treatment is not necessary in mild cases, although in more severe instances antibiotics may be used.

About one in three people who catch the bacteria die from the infection, while it is also behind 95 percent of fatalities in the states.

About 100 people die from an infection with the bacteria in the United States every year, estimates suggest.

It is the second death in Florida this year after another man in Pensacola County died from a bacterial infection after eating a raw oyster he had purchased at a market. 

Vibrio infections linked to seafood are more common in the summer months — May to October — because of warmer waters. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk