National | Public Health Warning

Health warning not to eat Banks Peninsula shellfish

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A public health warning against collecting shellfish from the entire Banks Peninsula area in Canterbury has been issued after testing discovered toxins nearly three times over the safe limit.

Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten, MPI said in a statement Friday.

Cooking the shellfish does not remove the toxin.

Pāua, crab and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking, as toxins accumulate in the gut. If the gut is not removed its contents could contaminate the meat during the cooking process.

Symptoms typically appear within half an hour of ingestion and last for about 24 hours. Symptoms may include diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and abdominal cramps.

Anyone who gets sick should freephone Healthline on 0800 61 11 16 or seek medical attention immediately. It is suggested you also contact your nearest public health unit and keep any leftover shellfish in case it can be tested.

One Wednesday, MPI issued a public health warning against collecting shellfish from Akaroa Harbour.

The ministry says another warning remains in place for Grove Arm in the Marlborough Sounds.