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Office of Public Affairs

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CDPH Warns Recreational Anglers Not to Eat Dungeness Crab Caught north of Patrick’s Point

Date: October 24, 2018
Number: 18-052
Contact: Corey Egel | 916.440.7259 |

SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is advising recreational anglers not to eat Dungeness crab caught between Patrick's Point North and the Oregon border. This warning is due to the detection of elevated levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring toxin.

Dangerous levels of domoic acid have been detected in the body meat and internal organs of Dungeness crab from this region. Cooking crabs neither decreases nor destroys the toxin.

Symptoms of domoic acid poisoning can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood. In mild cases, symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache and dizziness. These symptoms disappear within several days. In severe cases, the victim may experience trouble breathing, confusion, cardiovascular instability, seizures, excessive bronchial secretions, permanent loss of short-term memory, coma or death.

CDPH continues to coordinate its efforts with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the fishing community to collect and test Dungeness crab samples from the impacted areas until domoic acid levels have dissipated.

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), in consultation with CDPH, has recommended a delay in the opening of the recreational crab season near Patrick's Point North to the Oregon border.

To receive updated information about shellfish poisoning and quarantines, call CDPH's toll-free "Shellfish Information Line" at (800) 553-4133. Test results are updated as laboratory results become available and can be viewed on the CDPH Domoic Acid webpage. For additional information visit CDPH's Domoic Acid webpage.

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