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Sport-Harvested Bivalve Shellfish from Humboldt County

Date: November 12, 2020
Number: SN20-006
Contact: CDPHpress@cdph.ca.gov | CDPH Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Program


Dangerous levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins have been detected in mussels from Humboldt County. The naturally occurring PSP toxins can cause illness or death in humans. Cooking does not destroy the toxin.

 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is advising consumers not to eat sports-harvested mussels, clams, or whole scallops from Humboldt County.

 

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.

 

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.


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 or viewing the recreational bivalve shellfish advisory interactive map. For additional information, please visit the CDPH Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Web page.

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