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CDPH Lifts Warning about Mussels from San Luis Obispo County

Date: April 11, 2018
Number: 18-019
Contact: Corey Egel | 916.440.7259 | cdphpress@cdph.ca.gov 


SACRAMENTO The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced it is lifting the health advisory related to sport-harvested mussels, clams, and whole scallops in San Luis Obispo County. The advisory had been issued due to dangerous levels of naturally occurring paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins that can cause illness or death. Recent testing shows concentrations of PSP toxins have declined to safe or undetectable levels. There have been no reported illnesses associated with this event.

The CDPH warnings against eating sport-harvested mussels, clams, or whole scallops in the counties of Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey remain in effect. The CDPH warning against eating sport-harvested razor clams from Humboldt and Del Norte counties also remains in effect. These warnings do not apply to commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops or oysters from approved sources. State law permits only state-certified commercial shellfish harvesters or dealers to sell these products. Shellfish sold by certified harvesters and dealers are subject to frequent mandatory testing to monitor for toxins.

PSP toxins affect the central nervous system, producing a tingling around the mouth and fingertips within a few minutes to a few hours after eating toxic shellfish. These symptoms are typically followed by loss of balance, lack of muscular coordination, slurred speech and difficulty swallowing. In severe poisonings, complete muscular paralysis and death from asphyxiation can occur.

You can get the most current information on shellfish advisories and quarantines by calling CDPH’s toll-free Shellfish Information Line at (800) 553-4133. For additional information, please visit the CDPH Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Web page or the CDPH Annual Mussel Quarantine - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Web page.
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