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CDPH Warns Consumers Not to Eat Sport-Harvested Bivalve Shellfish from Los Angeles County 

Date: 12/20/2013 

Number: 13-059 

Contact: Anita Gore, Heather Bourbeau - (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO 

Tomales Bay Advisory Expanded

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is advising consumers not to eat recreationally harvested mussels, clams or whole scallops from the Los Angeles County coastline between Cabrillo Point and the Los Angeles-Orange county line. Dangerous levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins have been detected in mussels from this region. The naturally occurring PSP toxins can cause illness or death in humans. Cooking does not destroy the toxin.

In addition, the advisory issued earlier this month for Inner Tomales Bay has been expanded to include the entire bay.

The advisory for Monterey Bay remains in place, as does the October 31 extension of the annual mussel quarantine for northern Humboldt County.
 
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.
 
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.
 
You can get the most current information on shellfish advisories and quarantines by calling CDPH’s toll-free Shellfish Information Line at (800) 553-4133. For additional information, please visit the CDPH Marine Biotoxins-Mussels Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Web page.

 
 
Last modified on: 12/20/2013 5:06 PM