Fri. Jul 8th, 2022

Fishing and Outdoors

NZ's independent voice of fishing, hunting & outdoors

Public health warning about shellfish in West Coast, South Island

2 min read

The MPI detected diarrhetic shellfish toxins in mussels from 12-Mile Bluff at levels above the safe limit set. Photo: Supplied

A public health warning has been issued against collecting shellfish from the South Island West Coast between Greymouth and Charleston.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) detected diarrhetic shellfish toxins in mussels from 12-Mile Bluff at levels above the safe limit set.

Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness. Ongoing testing will continue, and MPI advised that any changes will be communicated accordingly.

Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, cat’s eyes, kina (sea urchin), and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten. The toxin cannot be removed through cooking shellfish.

“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,” MPI said.

Symptoms typically appear within half an hour of ingestion and last for about 24 hours.

Anyone who does get ill after eating shellfish from an area where a public health warning has been issued is advised to call Healthline on 0800 61 11 16 or seek medical attention immediately.

Anyone who is affected is also advised to contact their nearest public health unit and keep any leftover shellfish in case it can be tested.

Commercially harvested shellfish – sold in shops and supermarkets or exported – is subject to strict water and flesh monitoring programmes by MPI to ensure they are safe to eat. There is no commercial harvesting of shellfish in the affected area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.