FOOD safety officials are cautioning against the consumption of fresh conch after several suspected cases of conch poisoning.
Several reports of conch poisoning made the rounds on social media over the past few days before the Bahamas Agricultural Health and Food Safety Authority issued a statement yesterday.
The authority warned consumers to avoid fresh conch until officials are able to determine the source of the contamination.
Conch poisoning is typically caused by the bacterium, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, with contamination attributed to poor hygienic practices during its handling and preparation.
Health Minister Renward Wells said there had been about 10 reported cases of conch poisoning. He said the ministry was concerned that this has risen in recent days. He was unable yesterday to say where the cases originated.
Meanwhile, Bahamas Commercial Fishers Alliance President Adrian Laroda said he would not caution against eating conch because it could have implications on the industry. Instead, he urged handlers to wash the mollusk properly during preparation.