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CDPH Lifts Lobster Health Advisory in Ventura County

 

Date: November 19, 2018
Number: 18-058
Contact: Corey Egel | 916.440.7259 | cdphpress@cdph.ca.gov

 

SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is lifting the health advisory for lobsters caught in state waters around Anacapa Island in Ventura County. CDPH lifted this advisory today due to recent tests showing domoic acid has declined to low or undetectable levels in lobsters caught in the area, indicating that they are safe to consume.

 

CDPH initially warned consumers on October 17 not to eat the viscera and roe of lobsters caught in the impacted areas.

 

While domoic acid levels may vary, consumers should always follow these best preparation practices to avoid any inadvertent exposure to domoic acid that might be sporadically found in the lobster's viscera. The viscera usually contain much higher levels of domoic acid than the meat. When whole lobsters are cooked in liquid, domoic acid may leach from the viscera into the cooking liquid. Water or broth used to cook whole lobsters should be discarded and not used to prepare dishes such as sauces, broths, soups or stews (for example, cioppino or gumbo), stocks, roux, dressings or dips. Cooking lobsters neither decreases nor destroys the toxin in the viscera or

body meat. Consumers are advised to discard the viscera and cooking liquids.

 

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.

 

For more information about shellfish poisoning and quarantines, call CDPH's toll-free "Shellfish Information Line" at (800) 553-4133 or visit CDPH's Domoic Acid webpage. ​​

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