New Zealand – Shellfish biotoxin alert – PSP

MPI

North Island warnings

West coast, South Head to Tirua Point (south of Kawhia)

Reason for alert Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP)

Date warning issued Extended on 2 September 2020

Media release

First issue: 12 August 2020

Media release

Affected area West Coast North Island – from South Head (Manukau Harbour entrance) to Tirua Point (south of Kawhia)
Shellfish affected Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish.

Note, cooking shellfish does not remove the toxin.

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 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.
Other information Paralytic shellfish toxins have been detected in shellfish at levels over the safe limit of 0.8mg/kg set by MPI. Ongoing testing will continue and any changes will be communicated accordingly.

Map of affected area

Map showing the affected area

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