Shellfish warning in Whangaparaoa extended

Kiwis are being warned not to collect or eat shellfish in the Whangaparaoa area after discovering higher than normal toxin levels.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today extended the current health warning advising the public not to collect or consume shellfish in the Whangaparaoa region.

Routine tests have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins are above the safety limit by 0.2mg/kg.

Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cokcles, scallops, catseyes, kina and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten - anyone eating shellfish is potentially at risk of illness.

Commerical oyster farms in the Mahurangi Harbour are being monitored and have been closed as a precaution.

The warning now applies from Toroa Point (Gull Point), just south of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, and extends northwards to Takatu Point, just north of Kawau Island and other smaller offshore islands in the vicinity.

Paua, crab and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking.

Monitoring of toxin levels will continue and any changes will be communicated accordingly.

If anyone becomes ill after eating shellfish from an area where a public warning has been issued, phone Healthline for advice on 0800 61 11 16, or seek medical attention immediately.

- NZ Herald

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