August 16, 2017

Quartermaster Harbor Closed in Washington for PSP

The Washington State Department of Health has closed Quartermaster Harbor for shellfish harvesting because Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) has been detected at unsafe levels in the shellfish on Vashon-Maury Island. The commercial harvest is not affected. Commercial beaches are sampled separately and commercial products should be safe to eat. Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning is caused by a neurotoxin produced by a naturally occurring marine organism. You cannot determine if this toxin is present simply by looking at the water or the shellfish. PSP can only be found with laboratory testing. The symptoms of PSP usually begin 30 to 60 minutes after eating contaminated shellfish, but may take several hours to appear. The first symptoms are numbness or tingling of the face, arms, and … [Read more...]

Illness Prompts Alaska to Issue Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Warning

A probable case of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) has prompted the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services to issue a warning about recreationally harvested shellfish. PSP can cause death within hours of ingestion. Commercially harvested shellfish is tested are considered safe to eat. PSP is a toxin produced by algae during the warmest months of the year. When shellfish eat the algae, the toxin accumulates in their bodies. It cannot be e cooked, cleaned or frozen out of shellfish. When the contaminated shellfish is eaten is causes paralysis. Symptoms begin with a tingling sensation on the lips and tongue and moves to the fingers and toes.  Depending how much of the toxin is ingested it progresses to loss of control of arms and legs,  difficulty breathing and death in as … [Read more...]

In a Twist, China Bans U.S. Shellfish

We're used to hearing about how food from China is banned from entering the U.S., or that consumer and food safety groups oppose measures to bring food from that country here. But now China has turned the tables by banning all imports of West coast shellfish from its borders. The issue is paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins and arsenic found in geoduck clams harvested in Renton, Washington and Ketchikan in Alaska. No shellfish harvested on the entire West coast will be exported to China for the foreseeable future. The ban applies to clams, oysters, geoducks, and all bivalve shellfish harvested off Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and northern California. The health departments of those states routinely test for PSP and arsenic, as well as other parasites and bacteria. Officials with the … [Read more...]

Californians Warned to Avoid Bivalve Shellfish From Two Areas

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is telling consumers not to eat recreationally harvested mussels, clams, or whole scallops from two areas because the shellfish may have dangerous levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins. The regions are Monterey Bay and Inner Tomales Bay in Marin County. This warning is in addition to the annual mussel quarantine that was extended on October 31, 2013 for northern Humboldt County. That quarantine remains in effect. This warning doesn't apply to commercially harvested and sold clams, mussels, scallops, or oysters from approved harvest areas. State law allows only state-certified commercial shellfish harvesters or dealers to sell those foods. The shellfish are subject to frequent mandatory testing to monitor for these … [Read more...]

Consumers Warned About Consuming Bivalve Shellfish in California

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is warning consumers not to eat recreationally harvested mussels, clams, or whole scallops from Marin County. Dangerous levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins have been found in mussels in this region. These naturally occurring toxins can cause illness or death. Cooking does not destroy this toxin. This warning is in addition to the annual mussel quarantine that was extended on October 31, 2012 for Del Norte and Humboldt counties. That quarantine is still in effect. Commercially harvested and sold clams, mussels, scallops and oysters are safe to eat, as long as the sources are approved. Only state-certified commercial shellfish harvesters and dealers can sell these products, which are subject to frequent testing by the … [Read more...]

Warning: California Department of Health Says Not to Eat Shellfish from Del Norte County California

The warning does not apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops, or oysters from approved sources. These shellfish are subject to frequent mandatory testing by the state government. PSP toxins affect the central nervous system, producing a tingling around the mouth and fingertips. Then, symptoms include a loss of balance, loss of muscular coordination, slurred speech, and difficulty swallowing. These symptoms can appear within a few minutes to a few hours after eating the toxic shellfish. In some cases, complete muscular paralysis and death from asphyxiation can occur. Cooking does not destroy the toxin. For more information, see the CDPH Marine Biotoxins Frequently Asked Questions page. … [Read more...]

California Warns Consumers to Avoid Seafood Harvested in Northern Channel Islands

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is warning consumers to not eat recreationally harvested mussels and clams, commercially or recreationally caught anchovy and sardines, or internal organs of commercially or recreationally caught crab and lobster from the northern Channel Islands. The Islands are offshore of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Dangerous levels of the nerve toxin domoic acid have been detected in some of those species. The toxin may also be present in other species of shellfish, crustaceans, and fish in that area. Domoic acid is a naturally occurring toxin that can cause illness or death in human beings. Symptoms of domoic acid poisoning usually occur with 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating contaminated seafood. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, … [Read more...]

Paralytic Shellfish Poison Closes Recreational Harvest In Puget Sound

The Washington State Department of Health (WDH) has closed recreational shellfish harvesting in six counties near Puget Sound after dangerous levels of the biotoxin Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) were discovered. Commercially harvested shellfish are not included in the closure and should be safe to eat, according to public health authorities. The six counties affected by the recreational shellfish harvest closure are in the central and southern areas of the sound. They are: Jefferson, Island, Snohomish, Kitsap, King and Pierce counties. Warning signs have been posted at beaches in these areas. Shellfish included in the closure are: clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, geoduck, and other mollusks. Crab is not included in the closure, but “crab butter,” the yellow goo that clings to … [Read more...]

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