The Holy Ghost Association was warned by health officials this week for improperly tagging quahaugs at the Feast of the Holy Ghost in July.

The Oak Bluffs board of health and the state Department of Public Health Tuesday reprimanded the association and member Tricia Bergeron for tagging shellfish that belonged to her stepson. The issue came to light when an Oak Bluffs resident tested positive for vibriosis after consuming a clam at the feast.

The resident, who was not severely sick, ate a quahaug from a batch of shellfish that had been improperly tagged by Ms. Bergeron, officials said.

Ms. Bergeron said that she received the shipment of shellfish on July 14, one day before the feast, and tagged the batch, noting the name of its harvester and the date and time of its harvest. Her stepson, who is a wholesaler, was supposed to do the tagging, per the state department of public health’s (DPH) sanitary code to allow proper tracking of food-borne illnesses.

“[My stepson] had just left his shop, which is right next door to my house, and gone up-Island,” said Ms. Bergeron. “I tagged them because I did not want to call him and make him come all the way back down… Shame on me. I messed up.”

Vibriosis is an illness caused by bacteria known as vibrio. The bacteria can live in coastal waters and are present in higher concentrations when water temperatures are warmer. Most cases are mild and have no lasting effects, though some can send people into intensive care.

Ms. Bergeron and the association received a warning from the Oak Bluffs board of health and DPH representative Alexa Arieta.

“As a licensed food establishment in town, these types of things can’t happen,” said Ms. Arieta. “We track vibrio cases all season... and we just need to make sure that you guys are following the proper protocols.”