Entire Oregon Coast now closed to mussel harvesting due to marine toxins

Oregon Department of Agriculture Press Release
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has extended the area closed to recreational mussel harvesting to include the entire coast, from the mouth of the Columbia River to the California border. The closure is due to elevated levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning or PSP toxins and includes mussels on all beaches, rocks, jetties, and at the entrance to bays along the Oregon Coast.

Coastal scallops are not affected by this closure when only the adductor muscle is eaten. The consumption of whole recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended.
Commercial shellfish products remain safe for consumers. Samples taken from commercial markets show no PSP levels at this time.

Shellfish contaminated with PSP toxins can cause minor to severe illness or even death. The symptoms usually begin with tingling of the mouth and tongue. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, paralysis of the arms and legs, and paralysis of the muscles used for breathing. Shellfish toxins are produced by algae and usually originate in the ocean.

ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins weekly, as tides permit. Reopening of an area requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.

For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474, the Food Safety Division at (503) 986-4720 or visit the ODA shellfish closures Web page.

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