New Zealand Food Safety has issued a public health warning advising the public not to collect or consume shellfish harvested from the Raglan coastline.
The warning extends from Port Waikato, southward to Tauratahi Point at the entrance of Kawhia Harbour. The warning includes the entire Raglan and Aotea Harbours but not Kawhia Harbour. Paralytic Shellfish Toxins have been detected in shellfish from Raglan at levels above the safe limit set by MPI.
Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten cooked or uncooked, New Zealand Food Safety warned.
“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,” it said.
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
- 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.
If affected, you are also advised to contact your nearest public health unit and keep any leftover shellfish in case it can be tested.