CDPH Lifts Warning about Shellfish from Mendocino County
Date: January 12, 2021
Contact: CDPHpress@cdph.ca.gov | CDPH Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Program
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has lifted the
November 18, 2020 shellfish safety notification today related to sport-harvested
mussels, whole scallops, and clams in Mendocino County. The safety notification
was issued due to dangerous levels of naturally occurring paralytic shellfish
poisoning (PSP) toxins that can cause illness or death. Recent testing shows
PSP toxins are at safe or undetectable levels for bivalve shellfish in this
The warning against eating sport-harvested bivalve shellfish (including
mussels, clams, and scallops) in Marin County
remains in effect, due to continued elevated levels of PSP toxins.
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.
For the most current information on shellfish advisories and
quarantines, call CDPH’s toll-free Shellfish Information Line at (800) 553-4133
or viewing the recreational
bivalve shellfish advisory interactive map. For additional information,
please visit the CDPH
Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Web page.