Thursday, March 31, 2011

Early Quarantine of Sport-Harvested Mussels

CDFG Informational Notice - Early Quarantine of Sport-Harvested
Mussels Begins

Early Quarantine of Sport-Harvested Mussels Begins Today

Contact: Al Lundeen, Ronald Owens (916) 440-7259, California Department
of Public Health, Sacramento

Coming a month earlier than in normal years, the annual quarantine of
all mussel species publicly harvested along the California coast takes
effect today. The quarantine is beginning early this year because
testing by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) detected
elevated levels of domoic acid and paralytic shellfish poisoning.

³Poisoning from eating mussels can lead to severe illness, including
coma and death,² said CDPH Interim Director Dr. Howard Backer. ³It
is critical that individuals do not consume sport-harvested mussels
because there are no known antidotes to the toxins found in these
mussels and cooking does not reliably eliminate the toxins.²

Both domoic acid poisoning (DAP) and paralytic shellfish poisoning
(PSP) are linked to natural food sources for filter-feeding animals,
including bivalve shellfish. The overwhelming majority of illnesses
among humans occur between spring and fall. DAP symptoms can occur
within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood. In mild cases,
vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache and dizziness may occur.
These symptoms disappear completely within several days. In severe
cases, the victim may experience excessive bronchial secretions,
difficulty breathing, confusion, disorientation, cardiovascular
instability, seizures, and permanent loss of short-term memory, coma and
death. PSP affects the central nervous system by producing a tingling
around the mouth and fingertips within a few minutes to a few hours
after eating toxic shellfish. Typical symptoms are loss of balance, lack
of muscular coordination, slurred speech and difficulty swallowing. In
severe poisonings, complete muscular paralysis and death from
asphyxiation can occur.

The mussel quarantine runs through October 31. It applies to
sport-harvested mussels along the coast, including all bays, harbors and

Commercially harvested shellfish are not included in the annual
quarantine. These products are certified by the state and subject to
strict requirements to ensure that all mussels, oysters and clams
entering the marketplace are free of toxins.

For updated information on quarantines and shellfish toxins, call the
CDPH shellfish information line at (800) 553-4133.

No comments:

Post a Comment