Saturday, November 18, 2017
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Marine biotoxin public health warning

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The Ministry for Primary Industries today issued a public health warning advising the public not to collect or consume shellfish harvested from the Bay of Plenty coastline from Rogers Road (Pukehina Beach) to Opape. 

Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from sites in this region have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI. Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.

Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten, says MPI. 

"Cooking shellfish does not remove the toxin. 

"Pāua, crab and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking, as toxins accumulate in the gut. If the gut is not removed its contents could contaminate the meat during the cooking process." 

Symptoms typically appear between 10 minutes and three hours after ingestion and may include:

  • numbness and a tingling (prickly feeling) around the mouth, face, and extremities (hands and feet)
  • difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • paralysis and respiratory failure and in severe cases, death. 

If anyone becomes ill after eating shellfish from an area where a public health warning has been issued, phone Healthline for advice on 0800 61 11 16, or seek medical attention immediately.

Anyone who becomes ill is also advised to contact their nearest public health unit and keep any leftover shellfish in case it can be tested. 

Monitoring of toxin levels will continue and any changes will be communicated accordingly.

Commercially harvested shellfish – sold in shops and supermarkets, or exported – is subject to strict water and flesh monitoring programmes by MPI to ensure they are safe to eat.

Comments on SunLive

The summer warm comes early?

Posted on 02-11-2017 21:47 | By MISS ADVENTURE

The toxins arise, I am sure that there is a connection. Then add in the above average water nutrient content recieved into the local sea/costal areas that perculates around the beaches and harbour areas, that then is obviously what the shell-fish are feasting on. There you have it.
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