- Don’t Eat Sport-Harvested Shellfish! California Public Health Department Warns of Deadly Toxins in Humboldt County Clams, Mussels, Crab Guts
From the California Department of Public Health:
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is lifting two toxic-shellfish health advisories for Humboldt County. The advisories were issued last month and warned consumers not to eat sport-harvested bivalve shellfish due to dangerous levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins. Recent tests indicate PSP toxins have decreased to safe or undetectable levels.
The advisories that are being lifted are:
- February 8, 2017 health advisory for Humboldt Bay (Tomales Bay lifted March 7)
- February 10, 2017 health advisory for Humboldt County
Both advisories warned people not to eat sport-harvested bivalve shellfish (such as mussels, clams or whole scallops), or the internal organs of crab (viscera) from those areas. While there have been no reported illnesses associated with these events, dangerous levels of PSP toxins can cause illness or death.
Advisories remain in effect for:
PSP toxins affect the central nervous system, producing a tingling around the mouth and fingertips within a few minutes to a few hours after eating toxic shellfish. These symptoms are typically followed by loss of balance, lack of muscular coordination, slurred speech and difficulty swallowing. In severe poisonings, complete muscular paralysis and death from asphyxiation can occur.
- Humboldt County (sport-harvested razor clams)
- Del Norte County (sport-harvested razor clams, sport-harvested bivalve shellfish and crab viscera)
- Mendocino County (sport-harvested bivalve shellfish and crab viscera)
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.