Oysters, mussels unsafe

14 January 2019 | Fishing

ELLANIE SMIT

The fisheries ministry has issued a warning to the public not to consume oysters and mussels from Walvis Bay Aquaculture Production Area 1 as they are currently unsafe to eat due to shellfish poisoning.

According to the ministry, oyster and mussel samples from the production area have been tested positive for biotoxins during sampling and testing facilitated by the Namibian Standards Institution (NSI).

This sampling and testing forms part of the National Shellfish Sanitation Programme.

The latest test results from the oyster and mussel samples indicate the presence of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP).

According to the ministry the samples indicated DSP at a level higher than is permissible and therefore it is unsafe to consume these shellfish products until further notice.

The ministry further stressed that marine biotoxins are not destroyed by cooking and freezing.

DSP is one of the four recognised symptom types of shellfish and amnesic shellfish poisoning. The others are paralytic, neurotoxic and amnesic shellfish poisoning.

As the name suggests, DSP manifests itself as intense diarrhoea and severe abdominal pain. Nausea and vomiting may also occur. There is also a risk of dehydration.

As no life-threatening symptoms generally emerge, no fatalities from DSP have ever been recorded.

Symptoms usually set in within 30 minutes of ingesting infected shellfish and last for about one day.

The ministry said should any of the above symptoms occur when eating molluscan shellfish, people should seek immediate medical assistance.

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