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Toxic shellfish warning lifted for Waikato
The toxic shellfish health warning remains in place for the coastline from Kohi Point (Whakatane Heads) to the mouth of the Motu River. People are advised to avoid collecting or eating shellfish from this area until further notice.
This warning does not apply to Ohiwa Harbour or any islands off the coast.
The health warning has been lifted for the remainder of the Bay of Plenty coast. Shellfish can now be collected along the coastline from Tairua (Coromandel) to Kohi Point (Whakatane Heads).
"Further sampling today has shown that we still have part of the Eastern Bay coastline affected by shellfish poison. People should take note of the areas that still contain high levels of paralytic shellfish poison and avoid collecting shellfish in these areas," said 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.
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 Waikato Population Health Service will continue to update the public when results from the sampling confirm changes to the affected area.
As toxin levels may fluctuate routine surveillance will continue in all areas.
Information about health warnings will be posted on www.nzfsa.govt.nz
Date: January 23, 2009
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(Bay of Plenty)