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Scallop found to contain PSP toxin

  A scallop sample taken under the routine food surveillance programme for tests by the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) was found to contain a high level of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxin.

  “The level detected is 1,922 micrograms/100 grams. PSP toxin can cause symptoms such as numbness of the mouth and extremities and gastrointestinal discomfort. In severe cases, paralysis with respiratory arrest and even death may occur,” Principal Medical Officer (Risk Management) of the CFS, Dr Tina Mok, said today (April 27).

  “PSP toxin is a natural toxin sometimes found in bi-valve shellfish. It is heat-stable and cannot be destroyed through cooking. In view of the high level of toxin detected, we advise the public to avoid eating this kind of scallop for the time being,” she said.

  “The sample was collected from a fish stall at Yeung Uk Road Market. We are tracing the source of the scallop.”
   “We will take more samples for testing and closely monitor the situation,” Dr Mok said.

  Following are some precautionary measures to avoid shellfish poisoning:

1) Buy shellfish from reliable and licensed seafood shops;

2) Remove the viscera, gonads and roe before cooking and eat a smaller amount of shellfish in any one meal;

3) Children, patients and the elderly may be susceptible to poisoning and should be cautious in consuming shellfish;

4) When symptoms occur after consuming shellfish, seek medical advice immediately.

Ends/Friday, April 27, 2007



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