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​C​​DPH Lifts Warning for Recreational Lobster Harvested from Parts of the Southern California Coast

Date: October 13, 2023
Number: SN23-011

Recent laboratory analyses show that domoic acid levels in lobsters harvested along coastal areas of Los Angeles County have declined to low or undetectable levels. CDPH has lifted its advisory dated September 22, 2023, where consumers were warned against eating lobster meat and/or viscera and roe.  Currently, there are no warnings for domoic acid in lobsters from these areas, and there have been no reported illnesses associated with this event. 

Lobsters may be harvested from state waters located between the Abalone Cove State Marine Conservation Area and the westernmost point of the Long Beach Breakwater.    

It is important to remember that cooking lobster does not decrease or destroy the toxin in the viscera or roe. Consumers are advised to always discard the viscera, roe and cooking liquids, and adhere to the following best preparation practices to avoid any inadvertent exposure to domoic acid that may be sporadically found in the lobster’s viscera or roe.  It is always best to remove the viscera or roe and rinse out the body cavity prior to cooking, i.e., boil, steam, or fry. If whole lobsters are cooked in liquid, domoic acid may leach into the cooking liquid. The cooking water or broth should be discarded and not used to prepare dishes such as sauces, broth, soups or stews (for example, cioppino or gumbo), stocks, roux, dressings or dips.

 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 consumer may experience trouble breathing, confusion, cardiovascular instability, seizures, excessive bronchial secretions, permanent loss of short-term memory, coma or death.

​Test results are updated as laboratory results become available and can be viewed on the CDPH Domoic Acid webpage. Please visit CDPH’s Domoic Acid FAQ (PDF) for more information. To receive updated information about shellfish poisoning and quarantines, call CDPH’s toll-free “Shellfish Information Line”​ at (800) 553-4133.​​

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