New Zealand – High risk for cockles in lagoon – E.coli

NZ Herald

Health authorities have again reminded people against gathering or consuming raw cockles from Porangahau Lagoon in CHB after high levels of e.coli were detected.

E-coli levels above recommended swimming levels were recorded at the lagoon the week before last.

However, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health, Dr Nick Jones, said due to the ongoing presence of faecal contamination, the lagoon had already been deemed by the Hawke’s Bay regional council as failing to comply with national guidelines for shellfish gathering.

Dr Jones said while e.coli levels went up and down, shellfish tended to accumulate contaminants over time so there was “always a level of risk” in consuming raw shell fish from the lagoon.

“With e-coli levels being above recommended swimming levels … the risks may be higher than normal at present, and people are again reminded not to gather or consume raw cockles from the lagoon,” he said.

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