December 7, 2016

Razor Clams Harvested in Washington State Must be Discarded

The Washington State Department of Health announced that razor clams harvested May 7, 2015 along ocean beaches must be thrown away because they may contain high levels of domoic acid, a biotoxin. All recreational and commercial razor clam digs scheduled for the weekend have been cancelled.

RecallAll razor clams that were commercially harvested are being recalled and the department is asking that anyone who harvested the clams May 7, 2015 destroy them. Jerry Borchert, coordinator of the Department of Health’s Marine Biotoxin Program said, “anyone who has eaten shellfish from this area and who experiences symptoms of Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) should see a physician.”

ASP is caused by domoic acid consumed in high levels. The symptoms of ASP include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, dizziness, permanent short-term memory loss, and other ailments. There is no antidote for ASP. Cooking or freezing shellfish does not destroy the toxin.

Crab isn’t included in the closure, but the department is recommending that “crab butter” be discarded and only the crab meat eaten. Check for biotoxin closures by checking the department’s Shellfish Safety Map or calling the biotoxin hotline at 1-800-562-5632. Also look for and obey warning signs posted at beaches along the coast.

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