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Shellfish toxin warning for Scottish town

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Fife council has issued a health warning – advising members of the public not to eat clams and mussels from two areas of Fife (Anstruther and Pittenweem). High levels of toxins have been found in the shellfish, which could be potentially dangerous to people’s health.

Fife council discovered this issue when carrying out their routine sampling. The shellfish found evidence of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP), in the surf clams from Anstruther and Pittenweem. Both fisheries have been temporarily closed due to this and warning signs have also been positioned in affected areas.

Immediate measures have been taken as a result of this scare: tracing all affected shellfish and destroying it.  Although alarms have only been raised regarding the surf clams, the public is being warned that other species, such as mussels, may also be affected. The council warns people not to pick these up from beaches in the area as a precautionary measure. From the back of this worry, the council also warns that when removing the guts of crabs, make sure that it is done properly as the toxins may also have built up there.

PSP symptoms (in order of effect):

  1. 1.Tingling of lips and tongue
  2. Tingling of fingers and toes
  3. Loss of control of limbs
  4. Trouble breathing and swallowing

If high levels are consumed: paralysis of the muscles used for breathing may occur, which can lead to eventual death if not medically treated.

Roy Stewart, from Fife council, said: “The presence of PSP in shellfish occurs from time to time, particularly during the summer months. It is essential that until levels return to safe levels, none of these shellfish are eaten.

If you have been affected by food poisoning, and are looking to claim compensation, please contact us.


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