Category Archives: Shellfish

RASFF Alert – Pinnatoxins – Mussels

RASFF

Pinnatoxins in fresh mussels from the Netherlands in Belgium

Pinnatoxins (PnTXs) are toxins produced by marine microalgae called Vulcanodinium rugosum that can accumulate in shellfish. These marine biotoxins were first identified in France in 2011 in mussels from the Ingril lagoon in the Hérault département. Since then, analyses carried out in mussels from this lagoon have shown high concentrations of PnTXs for several months each year.

Pinnatoxins have also been detected, to a lesser extent, in other regions of France, notably in mussels from other Mediterranean lagoons (Vic, le Prévost, Thau, Leucate) and on the Atlantic and Corsican coasts. Outside France, data on shellfish contamination by PnTXs have also been reported in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries in Northern and Southern Europe.

RASFF Alert – Marine Biotoxin – Live Slipper Clams

RASFF

HIGH LEVELS OF LIPOPHILIC BIOTOXINS IN LIVE SLIPPER CLAM (VENERUPIS CORRUGATA) FROM PORTUGAL in Spain

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

Research – Evaluation of a test method to detect hepatitis A virus in salted shellfish

Wiley Online

Contaminated salted shellfish were a suspected cause of the 2019 hepatitis A outbreak in Korea; however, no virus was detected in the shellfish by the virus detection tests used. In this study, we investigated the shortcomings of these detection tests for identifying hepatitis A virus in salted shellfish to serve as a guide for improvement of these tests. Salted shellfish were washed and desalted before collecting the mid‐guts for testing. For verification of the method, the mid‐guts were first inoculated with norovirus and then RT‐qPCR was performed to determine the presence of norovirus genes. The norovirus gene was amplified normally along with an internal positive control; however, when the nucleic acid was extracted to be concentrated, gene amplification was inhibited. Since NaCl was the suspected contaminant, RT‐qPCR was then performed on samples that had been desalinated for 2 days, and hepatitis A virus genes were successfully detected. Gene amplification enabled analyzing the relationship between patients in the outbreak and the distributed salted shellfish. To detect viral contamination in salted and fermented specimens such as salted shellfish, it is imperative to extract the mid‐gut intestinal tract and remove any PCR inhibitors (e.g., excess salt). In this study, desalting salted shellfish using sterile distilled water before harvesting the mid‐gut was effective in facilitating hepatitis A detection. Development of future test methods requires accurately determining the effect of PCR inhibitors through the incorporation of an IPC in genetic detection tests.

USA – Certain Dungeness crabs recalled because of poisoning risk -Domoic Acid – Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning

Food Safety News

The Quinault Tribe of the Northwestern United States is voluntarily recalling almost 58,000 pounds of live or un-eviscerated Dungeness crab because of possible domoic acid contamination, which can cause amnesic shellfish poisoning in people. 

With Dungeness crab being a popular New Year’s dish, public health officials in Washing state posted the recall notice today in hopes of reaching holiday cooks before meals are prepared. It is not clear how far the crab may have been distributed.

Domoic acid is a naturally occurring toxin produced by certain types of algae and can be harmful to humans if contaminated shellfish is consumed. 

Domoic acid can cause amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) with symptoms including vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps within 24 hours of ingestion. In severe cases, ASP can cause permanent short-term memory loss.

Norway – The inspection program for shellfish 2019

Mattilsynet

Shells along the Norwegian coast have low concentrations of E. coli, heavy metals and other undesirable substances. It shows the results from the annual monitoring of bacteria and environmental toxins in mussels from production areas and mussel samples taken in connection with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority’s mussel warning.

What did we investigate? Mussels, scallops, flat oysters, Pacific oysters, cow mussels, O-mussels, carpet mussels, king snails and Drøbakkråkebolle.
Period: 2019
What were we looking for? E. coli, Salmonella and the environmental toxins cadmium, mercury, dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs, as well as polyaromatic hydrocarbons.
What did we find? About 90 percent of all submitted mussels were below the limit of E. coli and there were no detections of Salmonella. A total of 453 E. coli samples and 26 salmonella samples were analyzed.

Mussels: All examined mussels were below the limits for environmental toxins.

Scallops: No excesses of environmental toxins in muscle and gonads. Flat oysters: Cadmium was detected above the limit value in two samples.

O-shells and king snails: The heavy metal cadmium was, as in previous years, proven well above the limit value. The majority of heavy metals, such as cadmium and lead, have previously been localized to the kidneys. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority therefore recommends that the kidneys be removed before consumption, so that edible parts fall well below the limit values.

Canada – Updated Food Recall Warning – Certain Manila clams may be unsafe due to a marine biotoxin which causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP)

CFIA

Recall details

Ottawa, September 24, 2020 – The food recall warning issued on September 22, 2020 has been updated to include additional distribution information. This additional information was identified during the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) food safety investigation.

Evergreen International Foodstuffs Ltd. is recalling certain Manila clams from the marketplace due to a marine biotoxin which causes PSP. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

These Manila clams may also have been sold in bulk or in smaller packages with or without a label and may not bear the same brand, product name, or code as described below.

Recalled product

Brand Product Size Code
Evergreen Int’l Foodstuffs Ltd. Manila clams 25 lb. Harvest Date: Sep 16, 2020
Processing Date: Sep 17, 2020
Harvest Location: B.C. 17-20
Lot# 21057

What you should do

Check to see if you have the recalled product in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased. If you are unsure of the source of the clams, check with your place of purchase.

Paralytic shellfish toxins are a group of natural toxins that sometimes accumulate in bivalve shellfish that include oysters, clams, scallops, mussels and cockles. Non-bivalve shellfish, such as whelks, can also accumulate PSP toxins. These toxins can cause PSP if consumed. Symptoms of PSP include tingling and numbness of the lips, tongue, hands and feet, and difficulty swallowing with an onset of a few minutes and up to 10 hours after consumption. In severe situations, this can proceed to difficulty walking, muscle paralysis, respiratory paralysis and death.

Background

This recall was triggered by CFIA test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing the recalled product from the marketplace.

Illnesses

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Public enquiries and media

Company information
Evergreen International Foodstuffs Ltd.: 604-253-8835
Public enquiries
Toll-free: 1-800-442-2342 (Canada and U.S.)
Telephone: 1-613-773-2342 (local or international)
Email: cfia.enquiries-demandederenseignements.acia@canada.ca
Media relations
Telephone: 613-773-6600
Email: cfia.media.acia@canada.ca

Canada – Certain Manila clams may be unsafe due to a marine biotoxin which causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning

CFIA

Recall details

Ottawa, September 22, 2020 – Evergreen International Foodstuffs Ltd. is recalling certain Manila clams from the marketplace due to a marine biotoxin which causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

These Manila clams may also have been sold in bulk or in smaller packages with or without a label and may not bear the same brand, product name, or code as described below.

Recalled product

Brand Product Size Code
Evergreen Int’l Foodstuffs Ltd. Manila clams 25 lb. Harvest Date: Sep 16, 2020
Processing Date: Sep 17, 2020
Harvest Location: B.C. 17-20
Lot# 21057

What you should do

Check to see if you have the recalled product in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased. If you are unsure of the source of the clams, check with your place of purchase.

Paralytic shellfish toxins are a group of natural toxins that sometimes accumulate in bivalve shellfish that include oysters, clams, scallops, mussels and cockles. Non-bivalve shellfish, such as whelks, can also accumulate Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins. These toxins can cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) if consumed. Symptoms of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) include tingling and numbness of the lips, tongue, hands and feet, and difficulty swallowing with an onset of a few minutes and up to 10 hours after consumption. In severe situations, this can proceed to difficulty walking, muscle paralysis, respiratory paralysis and death.

Background

This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing the recalled product from the marketplace.

Illnesses

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Product photos

Printer ready version of photos

  • Evergreen Int'l Foodstuffs Ltd. - Manila clams

Public enquiries and media

Company information
Evergreen International Foodstuffs Ltd.: (604) 253-8835
Public enquiries
Toll-free: 1-800-442-2342 (Canada and U.S.)
Telephone: 1-613-773-2342 (local or international)
Email: cfia.enquiries-demandederenseignements.acia@canada.ca
Media relations
Telephone: 613-773-6600
Email: cfia.media.acia@canada.ca

Canada – N.B. declares outbreak of shellfish bacteria causing gastrointestinal illness – Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Global News CA

Food Illness - Vibrio

Image CDC

New Brunswick health officials have declared an outbreak of vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacteria found in shellfish that causes gastrointestinal illness in humans.

The province says nine cases of vibrio have been confirmed. The average for New Brunswick is typically only two to three cases a year.

“I am advising all New Brunswickers to ensure that they obtain shellfish and other seafood from a licensed establishment or harvest shellfish from fishing zones which are currently open by Fisheries and Oceans Canada,” said N.B. chief of health Dr. Jennifer Russell in a news release.

South Korea – Increase in Vibrio vulnificus Cases

Outbreak News today

KSWFOODWORLD

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has reported an increase in Vibrio vulnificus infections in the first eight months of 2020.

Epidemiological investigations of five patients who died from Vibrio vulnificus infection found that all of them were at high risk for the illness, with underlying conditions such as alcoholism, diabetes and liver disease, The Korea Times reports.

Vibrio vulnificus can cause disease in those who eat contaminated seafood or have an open wound that is exposed to warm seawater containing the bacteria. Ingestion of Vibrio vulnificus can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Vibrio vulnificus can also cause an infection of the skin when open wounds are exposed to warm seawater; these infections may lead to skin breakdown and ulcers.

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