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Australian live blue mussels detected with PSP toxin

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) has received notification from the Australian authorities that Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxin was detected in some live blue mussels. Members of the public are advised to refrain from consuming the food and traders should stop selling it.

     Details of the product are as follows:

Product: Live Blue Mussels
Manufacturer:  Spring Bay Seafoods Pty Ltd
Place of origin:  Spring Bay in Tasmania, Australia
Date of harvest:  on or after October 22, 2012

     A spokesman for the CFS said today (November 5) that the trade has been alerted to the incident. Based on the information provided by the Australian authorities, the CFS is following up with the importers concerned, such as requesting them to stop sale of the product and tracing its distribution. Meanwhile, the CFS is conducting checks at the retail outlets and so far no affected food has been found available for sale.

     He urged consumers who have bought the concerned product to immediately stop consumption. The CFS will continue to follow up on the case and take appropriate actions.

     "PSP toxin can cause symptoms such as numbness of mouth and limbs and gastrointestinal discomfort. In severe cases, paralysis with respiratory arrest and even death may occur," the spokesman said.

     PSP toxin is a natural toxin sometimes found in bi-valve shellfish. It is heat-stable and cannot be destroyed through cooking.

     Some precautionary measures to avoid shellfish poisoning are as follows:

* Remove the viscera before cooking, avoid consuming the cooking sauce and eat a small amount of shellfish in one meal;
* Children, patients and the elderly may be susceptible to poisoning and should be cautious in consuming shellfish;
* When symptoms occur after consuming shellfish, seek medical advice immediately.

Ends/Monday, November 5, 2012
Issued at HKT 21:53


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