Category Archives: Biotoxin

RASFF Alerts – Histamine – Yellow Fin Tuna


Histamine and E 300 – ascorbic acid unauthorised in frozen yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) from India in Italy

RASFF Alert – Diarrhoeic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) – Live Scallops


Withdrawal of live scallops (Aequipecten operculatis) harvested in France because of possible contamination with Diarrhoeic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) toxins from Spain in France

RASFF Alert – Marine Biotoxin – Live Slipper Clams



Lipophilic marine biotoxins include okadaic acid, pectenotoxin, yessotoxin and azaspiracid groups.

New Zealand – Shellfish biotoxin alert for Hawke Bay has been removed


The Ministry for Primary Industries today removed the public health warning against collecting shellfish from the Hawke Bay. This warning was from the Mohaka River Mouth South to Cape Kidnappers. Further sampling of shellfish along this coastline has showed that PSP toxins are now at safe levels.

No other warnings remain in place.

Ukraine- Botulism case reported in Melitopol, Ukraine, Linked to smoked mackerel

Outbreak News Today


On June 21, 2021, a case of botulism – food poisoning was registered in Melitopol- a city in Zaporizhzhia Oblast of southeastern Ukraine, according to the city health department.

The patient is a 65-year-old man who bought cold-smoked mackerel in a retail chain and consumed it himself on June 18-19, 2021.

New Zealand – Shellfish biotoxin alerts – Hawkes Bay


North Island warnings

Hawke’s Bay

Reason for alert Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP)

Check the symptoms of PSP

Date warning issued 16 June 2021

Media release

Affected area From the Mohaka River mouth, south to Cape Kidnappers.
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 from Pania Reef 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

British Virgin Islands- Ciguatera increase

Food Safety News

Authorities in the British Virgin Islands have issued a warning after a surge in Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) within the past few weeks.

Cases until the week of June 6 were sporadic, but within three weeks there have been eight confirmed infections with other suspected cases also being investigated.

National Epidemiologist Harmony Massiah said CFP is not uncommon in tropical and sub-tropical areas and is mainly associated with consumption of big coral reef fish like snapper, bass and perch that have accumulated ciguatoxin in the body.

Larger fish will have higher amounts of the toxin. Contaminated fish cannot be identified by appearance and the toxin cannot be destroyed by cooking or freezing.

France – Product recall: MAISON CHEVALLIER canned cooked meals – DSP


Product recall: MAISON CHEVALLIER canned cooked meals


Health risk, linked to the lack of stability test. (microbiological)
Marine biotoxins DSP (diarrheal toxins)
Manufacturing defect, sealing defect (ex: micro leaks, defective heat sealing) or packaging anomalies


Do not consume and return to the point of sale for reimbursement


▸ Names of the models or references
• Country
pâté • Country pâté
• Rabbit terrine with prunes
• Rabbit terrine with duck foie gras • Pork terrine with duck
foie gras
• Lamb semolina
• Duck
parmentier • Diots crozets
• Quinoa salmon
• Sauerkraut
• Beef bourguignon
• Savoyard stew
• Blanquette of veal
• Chicken curry

▸ Packaging
Canned in glass

▸ Start date / End of marketing
From 12/01/2020 to 05/06/2021

▸ Health mark
FR 74 006 007 CE

▸ Geographical sales area
AIN (01), LOIRET (45), MARNE (51), SAVOIE (73), HAUTE-SAVOIE (74)


▸ List of points of sale
Click here

▸ Consumer service contact

▸ Source

Research – ANSES sets value to protect people from emerging toxin in shellfish

Food Safety News

A French agency has proposed a guideline value to protect consumers of shellfish from a group of marine biotoxins.

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) said brevetoxins (BTX) were first detected in mussels in Corsica in 2018. If ingested by humans, these toxins can cause neurological, gastrointestinal or cardiovascular symptoms.

After this finding a few years ago, ANSES was asked by the Directorate General for Food (DGAL) and Directorate General for Health (DGS) to propose a guideline value to protect the health of people who eat shellfish. The agency has published an opinion and report on the subject in French.

Based on reports of food poisoning in other countries, ANSES has set a guideline value to protect consumers of products such as oysters and mussels. This value is 180 µg/kg of shellfish flesh, expressed in BTX-3 equivalents, with BTX-3 being the form of brevetoxin used as the reference.

UK – Northern Ireland – Consultation on the rationalisation of official control shellfish biotoxin and phytoplankton monitoring points in Carlingford Lough


Northern Ireland specific
Consultation seeking stakeholders’ views on the proposed rationalisation of biotoxin and phytoplankton monitoring in Carlingford Lough and the implementation of Representative Monitoring Points (RMPs) and Associated Harvesting Areas (AHAs).

Who will this consultation be of most interest to?

Carlingford Lough shellfish harvesters, enforcement authorities, official control sampling officers, official control testing laboratories and other interested stakeholders.

Consultation subject

A proposal by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to rationalise the number of official control monitoring points for biotoxin and phytoplankton monitoring in Carlingford Lough and introduce Representative Monitoring Points (RMPs) and Associated Harvesting Areas (AHAs) .

Purpose of the consultation

To seek comments from industry, enforcement authorities, and other interested stakeholders on the proposed rationalisation of biotoxin and phytoplankton monitoring in Carlingford Lough and the implementation of RMPs and AHAs.

Consultation Pack

How to respond

Responses to this consultation should be emailed or posted to the addresses below:


Postal address:

Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland
Executive Support Unit
10a-c Clarendon Road, Belfast
Co Antrim