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CDPH Warn​s Against Consuming Razor Clams from Humboldt County 

Date: May 2, 2024
SN24-003
Contact: media@cdph.ca.gov 

Sport-Harvested Razor Clams from Humboldt County Found to Contain High Levels of Domoic Acid

What You Need To Know: ​CDPH is advising the public not to consume sport-harvested razor clams gathered from Humboldt County due to high levels of Domoic Acid.  

Sacramento –The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is advising consumers not to eat sport-harvested razor clams from Humboldt County. These clams were recently detected as having dangerous levels of domoic acid, which can cause Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning.   

 

Domoic acid is naturally occurring in clams and other shellfish and can cause illness or death in humans. Cooking does not destroy the toxin. 

 

For Humboldt County, this warning only applies to razor clams as they are known to concentrate and retain domoic acid toxin in their meat and tissues at higher levels and for much longer than other species of bivalve shellfish.  


Symptoms of amnesic shellfish 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, disorientation, cardiovascular instability, seizures,​ ​​excessive bronchial secretions, permanent loss of short-term memory, coma, or death.  


This warning does 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. 


For updated information on quarantines and shellfish toxins, visit the recreational bivalve shellfish advisory interactive map or call the CDPH Biotoxin Information Line at (800) 553-4133. For additional information, please visit the CDPH Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Web page. ​

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