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Stolen oysters and seafood in spotlight

AAP logoAAP 22/12/2016

Stocking your Christmas spread with black market oysters and stolen seafood hurts hard-working producers and could make you sick, authorities have warned.

More than 7000 illegal oysters have been seized so far this year, as NSW primary industries agents ramp up both undercover and high-visibility stings to catch oyster thieves red-handed during the Christmas period.

"Oysters that haven't undergone the usual tests to food safety, or haven't undergone the purification procedures applied to commercial product are a serious health risk. They can make you very sick," NSW food safety officer Peter Day said on Thursday.

Anyone sprung stealing oysters or selling illegal seafood will be arrested and hauled before court, police say.

"Stealing and illegally selling oysters hurts the hard-working producers who make their living producing and providing a legitimate product for people," NSW Police Commander Mark Hutchings said.

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