Shell­fish toxin warn­ing

Franklin County News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

It’s not a good time to go hunt­ing for shell­fish on the North Is­land’s west coast.

A warn­ing about shell­fish with par­a­lytic tox­ins now stretches from Manukau Har­bour down the coast to Oakura, south­west of New Ply­mouth.

Un­safe lev­els of par­a­lytic tox­ins - which can cause any­thing from numb­ness to res­pi­ra­tory fail­ure - have been de­tected in shell­fish in the area, the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries warn­ing said.

Many types of shell­fish are af­fected - in­clud­ing mus­sels, kina, and pa¯ua.

Par­a­lytic shell­fish tox­ins aren’t killed by cook­ing the shell­fish, an MPI state­ment said.

The warn­ing af­fects mus­sels, oys­ters, tu­atua, pipi, to­heroa, cock­les, scal­lops, cat­seyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bi­valve shell­fish.

But, if the gut is com­pletely re­moved be­fore cook­ing, it is still safe to eat pa¯ua, crab and cray­fish.

If they are cooked with the gut in, the meat can be con­tam­i­nated.

The symp­toms of par­a­lytic shell­fish poi­son­ing in­clude numb­ness and tin­gling around the mouth, face, hands, and feet, MPI said.

They can also in­clude dif­fi­culty swal­low­ing or breath­ing, nau­sea, or paral­y­sis and res­pi­ra­tory fail­ure.

Symp­toms gen­er­ally ap­pear be­tween 10 min­utes and three hours af­ter the shell­fish have been eaten.

There will be on­go­ing test­ing of shell­fish, MPI said, and up­dates on any changes.

If some­one gets sick af­ter eat­ing shell­fish from the area cov­ered by the warn­ing, they should seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion im­me­di­ately. They should also ad­vise the near­est pub­lic health unit and keep any left­over shell­fish for test­ing.

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