Category Archives: Biotoxin

New Zealand – Shellfish biotoxin alert (extended) – North Island West Coast region

MPI

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today extended the public health warning against collecting shellfish on the west coast of the North Island in the Taranaki, Waikato, Wanganui, Manawatu, and Horowhenua regions. The warning now extends from the mouth of Port Waikato southward to Te Horo Beach in the Wellington region.

Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from this region have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI. Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.

MPI today also removed the public health warning against collecting shellfish in Nydia Bay Pelorus Sounds

Warnings remain in place for the Bay of Islands and Akaroa Harbour.

Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten.

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.

North Island West coast

New Zealand -Amended shellfish biotoxin warning for the Kenepuru and inner Pelorus Sound

MPI

The Ministry for Primary Industries today reduced the area subject to a public health warning against collecting shellfish in the Kenepuru and inner Pelorus Sound.  The warning now includes only Nydia Bay in the inner Pelorus Sound.

Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from this region still show levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI. Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.

New Zealand – Further shellfish biotoxin alerts

MPI

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today issued a public health warning against collecting shellfish in the entire Bay of Islands, extending to the outer heads between Cape Wiwiki to Cape Brett.

MPI also extended the public health warning against collecting shellfish on the west coast of the North Island in the Taranaki, Waikato, Wanganui, Manawatu, and Horowhenua regions. The warning now extends from the mouth of Port Waikato southward to the Manawatu River at Foxton Beach. The alert also includes Aotea and Kawhia Harbours but not Port Waikato itself.

Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from the Bay of Islands region have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI. Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.

Warnings are also in place for the Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds, Akaroa Harbour, and the West Coast of the North Island.

Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten.

Note, cooking shellfish does not remove the toxin.

Map of Bay of Islands

UK – Scotland -High levels of shellfish toxin

HPS Scotland 

Monitoring work undertaken on behalf of Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has identified raised levels of shellfish toxins in Loch Leurbost in Lewis.

Eating shellfish such as mussels, cockles, or razor fish from these areas may pose a risk to human health and notices to warn the public and casual gatherers have been posted at various locations on the shore. Commercial shellfish harvesters in these areas have been contacted by the Comhairle (Western Isles Council) and steps taken to postpone harvesting until algae levels subside.

The Comhairle is monitoring the situation and will remove warning notices when it improves.

[Source: Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, 26 July 2018. https://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/news/2018/july/high-levels-of-shellfish-toxin/]

New Zealand – Shellfish biotoxin alert – Taranaki and Waikato region

MPI

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today issued a public health warning against collecting shellfish on the west coast of the North Island in the Taranaki and Waikato region. The warning extends from Raglan, including Raglan Harbour, southward to Urenui. The alert also includes Aotea and Kawhia Harbours.

Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from sites in this region have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI. Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.

Warnings remain in place for the Pelorus Sounds and Akaroa Harbour.

Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten.

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 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.

If anyone becomes ill after eating shellfish from an area where a public health warning has been issued, phone Healthline for advice on 0800 61 11 16, or seek medical attention immediately. You are also advised to contact your nearest public health unit and keep any leftover shellfish in case it can be tested.

Monitoring of toxin levels will continue and any changes will be communicated accordingly. 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.

New Zealand – Do not eat or collect shellfish from Akaroa Harbour – DSP

MPI

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today issued a public health warning advising the public not to collect or consume shellfish harvested for the entire Akaroa Harbour in Canterbury.

Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from Akaroa Harbour have shown levels of diarrhetic shellfish toxins above the safe limit of 0.16 mg/kg set by MPI.  Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.

Ongoing testing will continue and we’ll let you know if the situation changes.

Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten.

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

  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • abdominal cramps

If anyone becomes ill after eating shellfish from an area where a public health warning has been issued phone Healthline for advice on 0800 61 11 16, or seek medical attention immediately. You are also advised to contact your nearest public health unit and keep any leftover shellfish in case it can be tested.

Note, 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.

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USA – FDA Investigating Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce from Yuma Growing Region

FDA Eurofins Food Testing UK

Update

The FDA, along with CDC and state partners, initiated an environmental assessment in the Yuma growing region to further investigate potential sources of contamination linked to this outbreak.

Samples have been collected from environmental sources in the region, including water, soil, and cow manure. Evaluation of these samples is ongoing.

To date, CDC analysis of samples taken from canal water in the region has identified the presence of E. coli 0157:H7 with the same genetic finger print as the outbreak strain. We have identified additional strains of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli in water and soil samples, but at this time, the samples from the canal water are the only matches to the outbreak strain.

Analysis of additional samples is still ongoing, and any new matches to the outbreak strain will be communicated publicly and with industry in the region.

Identification of the outbreak strain in the environment should prove valuable in our analysis of potential routes of contamination, and we are continuing our investigation in an effort to learn more about how the outbreak strain could have entered the water and ways that this water could have come into contact with and contaminated romaine lettuce in the region.