Saturday, June 15, 2024

Shellfish health warning extended

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today issued an extension to the public health warning advising the public not to collect or consume shellfish harvested from Crail Bay in Marlborough Sounds.

The extension now applies to the entire Pelorus Sound area including its arms to the east and west, up to a line at the entrance from Paparoa to Culdaff Point.

Routine MPI tests on shellfish samples taken from this region have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI.

Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness, the Ministry said in a statement.

See a map of the warning

It said mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten.

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.

Symptoms typically appear between 10 minutes and 3 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
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • 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. You are also advised to contact your nearest public health unit and keep any leftover shellfish in case it can be tested.

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