REPORT BY MPI
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has extended a public health warning against collecting shellfish in the Hawke's Bay region.
The affected area now extends from Mahanga Beach in Mahia and covers the entire coastline down to the southern end of Porangahau Beach.
The warning has been issued due to paralytic shellfish toxins being detected at levels of concern.
Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from sites in this region have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI. Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.
There are also warnings in place for the Bay of Islands and the Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds.
Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten.
Note: cooking shellfish does not remove the toxin.
Pāua, crab and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking, as toxins accumulate in the gut. If the gut is not removed its contents could contaminate the meat during the cooking process.
Symptoms typically appear between 10 minutes and 3 hours after ingestion and may include:
If anyone becomes ill after eating shellfish from an area where a public health warning has been issued, phone Healthline for advice on 0800 61 11 16, or seek medical attention immediately.
You are also advised to contact your nearest public health unit and keep any leftover shellfish in case it can be tested.
31 October 2018
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