Ottawa, August 16, 2013 - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to serve or consume the raw shellfish products described below because they may contain paralytic shellfish toxins that can cause illness if consumed.
These shellfish products were primarily distributed to wholesalers and institutional clients such as restaurants. However, the affected shellfish products may also have been sold in smaller quantities at some retail seafood counters. Consumers who are unsure whether they have the affected products are advised to check with their retailer or supplier.
These products have been distributed in Alberta and British Columbia. However, they may have been distributed in other provinces and territories.
There have been no reported cases of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) associated with the consumption of these products.
Paralytic shellfish toxins are a group of natural toxins that sometimes accumulate in bivalve shellfish that include oysters, clams, scallops, mussels and cockles. Non-bivalve shellfish, such as whelks, can also accumulate PSP toxins. These toxins can cause PSP if consumed. Symptoms of PSP include tingling and numbness of the lips, tongue, hands and feet, and difficulty swallowing. In severe situations, this can proceed to difficulty walking, muscle paralysis, respiratory paralysis and death in as quickly as 12 hours.
The shellfish processors are voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.
The following raw shellfish products, harvested on August 13, 2013 from sub area 23-6, Effingham Inlet and Useless Inlet in British Columbia, are affected by this alert: