|News and media|
Toxic shellfish warning remains in placeThe health warning issued for toxic shellfish remains in place. Results received today confirm that people should continue to avoid collecting or eating shellfish from the wider Coromandel and Bay of Plenty coastline from Tairua (including Tairua Harbour) south including Whiritoa, Whangamata, Onemana, and east along the Bay of Plenty coastline (including Tauranga and Ohiwa Harbours) to the mouth of the Motu River in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Included are all inshore islands within the above area.
“Further sampling today confirms the continuation of high levels of paralytic shellfish poison along this extended stretch of coast. The levels of toxin are particularly high and we strongly urge people to avoid all shellfish from this area till further notice,” says Toi Te Ora - Public Health, Medical Officer of Health, Dr Phil Shoemack.
The health warning affects all bi-valve shellfish including mussels, pipi, tuatua, cockles, oysters, scallops, catseyes and kina (sea urchin). Paua, crayfish and crabs can still be taken but as always, the gut should be removed before cooking.
Consumption of shellfish affected by the paralytic shellfish toxin can cause numbness and tingling around the mouth, face or extremities; difficulty swallowing or breathing; dizziness; double vision; and in severe cases, paralysis and respiratory failure. These symptoms usually occur within 12 hours of a person consuming affected shellfish.
Anyone suffering illness after eating shellfish should seek medical attention.
New Zealand Food Safety Authority is responsible for monitoring both shellfish and water for toxins in shellfish throughout New Zealand. Toi Te Ora - Public Health and the Waikato Public Health Unit will continue to update the public when results from the sampling confirm changes to the affected area.
Information about health warnings will be posted on www.nzfsa.govt.nz
For more information or comment:
(For Bay of Plenty)
Medical Officer of Health
Toi Te Ora – Public Health
Ph 07 577 3770 or 021 228 5534
Health Protection Officer
Population Health Service
Hugh Monckton Trust Building, Level 4
Cnr Rostrevor & Harwood Streets
P.O Box 505
Phone: 07 838 2569 Ext 23427
Fax: 07 838 2382
Mobile: 021 521 927
After Hours - On-Call Health Protection Officer 021 999 521
On-Call Medical Officer of Health 021 359 650