Vibrio parahaemolyticus is the main foodborne pathogen worldwide that causes acute gastroenteritis. A quantitative microbiological risk assessment (QMRA) was conducted to evaluate the health risk associated with V. parahaemolyticus in shellfish in the coastal cities in the eastern part of the People's Republic of China. The QMRA framework was established from shellfish at retail to cooking at home to consumption. The prevalence and level of V. parahaemolyticus in shellfish, cooking methods, storage temperature, time after purchase, shellfish consumption frequency, and consumption amount were analyzed in the exposure assessment. The results of the exposure assessment were introduced into the beta-Poisson dose-response model, and Monte Carlo analysis was used to calculate the risk of gastroenteritis from shellfish consumption. The probability of illness caused by V. parahaemolyticus from shellfish consumption per person per year (Pill,yr) was 3.49E−05. Seasonal differences were noted in the Pill/meal; the maximum was 4.81E−06 in summer and the minimum was 2.27E−07 in winter. The sensitivity analysis revealed that the level of V. parahaemolyticus in shellfish and the amount of shellfish consumed per meal were main factors contributing to illness. This QMRA provided valuable information such as the probability of illness associated with the consumption of shellfish and reference points for prevention strategies and control standards of V. parahaemolyticus in shellfish.

  • The annual probability of V. parahaemolyticus infection was 3.49E−05 in coastal China.

  • Summer and autumn had the highest incidence of V. parahaemolyticus infection.

  • The results of this risk assessment were consistent with the epidemiological data.

  • The models could be used for risk monitoring.

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