Susan Buckley, RN, Director, Public Health
Ira Singh, MPH, Deputy Director
Donald I. Baird, MD, Health Officer

Division of Environmental Health

PRESS RELEASE

Date Released: 4/30/2008
Subject: ANNUAL SPORT HARVESTED MUSSEL QUARANTINE
Contact: Harriet Hill, Registered Environmental Health Specialist, Environmental Health Division
Phone: (707) 445-6215

Effective May 1 through October 31, 2008

The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services informs the public that the annual sport-harvested mussel quarantine order has been issued by the State of California Department of Public Health. The quarantine is established for all species of mussels found along the California ocean shoreline from the Oregon border south to the Mexico border, including all bays, inlets, and harbors. During the period of this quarantine, mussels may concentrate naturally occurring toxins that are highly poisonous to people. The quarantine is intended to prevent paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and domoic acid poisoning (DAP).

DO NOT EAT MUSSELS HARVESTED IN VIOLATION OF THIS QUARANTINE

State law prohibits the sale, or offering for sale for human consumption of any bivalve (two-shelled) shellfish, except by a State-certified commercial shellfish harvesters or dealers. Shellfish sold by certified harvesters or dealers are subject to frequent mandatory testing and are not subject to this quarantine. Mussels may be sold for use as bait when displayed and sold in containers labeled in bold-face type letters at least one-half inch in height as follows:

MUSSELS FOR BAIT ONLY UNFIT FOR HUMAN FOOD

Consumers of sport-harvested, bivalve (two-shelled) clams or scallops are warned to remove and discard organs or viscera and any other dark parts before cooking. Only the white meat of clams and scallops should be prepared for human consumption. As with all shellfish, clams and scallops should be taken only from areas free of sewage contamination and should also be thoroughly cleaned before cooking.

Further details regarding paralytic shellfish poisoning may be obtained from the Environmental Health Division by calling 707 445-6215 or 1-800-963-9241.

 

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