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CDPH Warns Consumers Not to Eat Sport-Caught Bivalve Shellfish from Del Norte County

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is advising consumers not to eat recreation-ally harvested mussels, clams or whole scallops from Del Norte County.  Dangerous levels of Dominic acid have been detected in mussels from this region. This naturally occurring toxin is also referred to as Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning and can cause illness or death in humans.

The CDPH warning against eating sport-harvested razor clams from Del Norte and Humboldt counties due to dangerous levels of domoic acid remains in effect, as does the statewide annual quarantine on sport-harvested mussels due to the risk of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning and domoic acid. The annual quarantine applies to all species of mussels harvested along the California coast, as well as all bays and estuaries, and will continue through at least October 31.
This warning does not apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops or oysters from approved sources. State law permits only state-certified commercial shellfish harvesters or dealers to sell these products. Shellfish sold by certified harvesters and dealers are subject to frequent mandatory testing to monitor for toxins.

Symptoms of domoic acid poisoning can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood. In mild cases, symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache and dizziness. These symptoms disappear within several days. In severe cases, the victim may experience trouble breathing, confusion, disorientation, cardiovascular instability, seizures, excessive bronchial secretions, permanent loss of short term memory, coma or death. No cases of human poisoning from domoic acid are known to have occurred in California.

You can get the most current information on shellfish advisories and quarantines by calling CDPH’s toll-free Shellfish Information Line at (800) 553-4133. For additional information, please visit the CDPH Marine Biotoxin Monitoring web page.
The original press release from CDPH is posted here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Thanks to NOAA.

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