A Florida man has died from a bacterial infection after eating a raw oyster at the famed Rustic Inn Crabhouse in Fort Lauderdale.

The Rustic Inn Crabhouse at 4331 Anglers Ave. in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday.
© Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNSThe Rustic Inn Crabhouse at 4331 Anglers Ave. in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday.

The death is the second in the state this month traced to the bacteria, Vibrio, found in an oyster.

Gary Oreal, manager of the Rustic Inn, said the South Florida man who died had worked at the restaurant about two decades ago. He had dined there in late July on a day the Rustic Inn served as many as 100 dozen oysters, and he was the only person who became sick.

“He had that one in a billion that was bad,” Oreal said. “I feel horrible.”

Oreal, whose father founded Rustic Inn in 1955, said inspectors from the Florida Department of Health came to look at the kitchen and examined the oyster inventory the day after the man became ill and was hospitalized.

“We passed with flying colors and we were allowed to continue to sell oysters,” he said.

Neither the restaurant nor the health department identified the man who died.

The oysters now being served are from Louisiana, Oreal said. “If there was a problem with the oyster bed we would know it because others would have gotten sick.”

The restaurant does display a sign warning patrons that consuming raw shellfish may increase the risk of foodborne illness.

“Oysters are top of the mountain for dangerous foods to eat,” Oreal said. “I have eaten them my entire life, and will continue. But you are putting yourself at risk when you do it.”