CDC issues seafood health alert

Paralytic shellfish poisoning and botulism found in products sourced to Port Hardy.

Vancouver—The BC Centre for Disease Control is warning the public not to consume various shellfish and seafood products from a private distributor in Port Hardy because of the risk of paralytic shellfish poisoning and botulism.

• Products sold include:

• Frozen clams (butter clams and possibly others) in small and large Ziploc bags;

• Jarred clams (butter clams and possibly others) in 500 ml and 1000ml jars;

• Frozen BBQ salmon; and

• Canned salmon pieces in clam juice.

Other similar products may have also been distributed

The products were for sale online and through a Buy and Sell ad on www.buyselltrade.ca but may have also been distributed through other mechanisms. There is no identifying packaging or product code on these items. These products may have been distributed throughout the province. To date BCCDC is not aware of the products being made available through retail or restaurants.

Anyone who may have purchased these products should not consume them, and discard them.  Cooking will not destroy the toxins associated with paralytic shellfish poisoning or botulism.

The symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning include: tingling; numbness, spreading from lips and mouth to face, neck and extremities; dizziness; arm and leg weakness; paralysis; respiratory failure; and possibly death. Symptoms start quickly, within 30 minutes to three hours. The progression and intensity of the symptoms will vary.

Botulism is a serious, often fatal form of food poisoning. The illness is due to a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that is found everywhere, but grows and produces botulinum toxin when foods are improperly canned.

The symptoms of botulism include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. Constipation may occur. Symptoms generally begin 18-36 hours after eating a contaminated food, but they can occur as early as six hours or as late as 10 days afterward. Over the years, a number of Canadians have died from botulism, as a direct result of improper home canning.

The products in the current warning were harvested from an area closed to shellfish harvesting, and were not processed at a government-approved facility. All bivalve shellfish sold in B.C. must come from open shellfish harvesting areas and from sources that pass a federal inspection. Canned clams and salmon products may not have been properly processed to control for botulinum toxin.

This alert is the result of an ongoing investigation by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).  The BCCDC is currently working with DFO, Health Canada, the Ministry of Health, Canadian Food Inspection Agency and regional health authorities to ensure the products are removed from distribution and to investigate any possible cases of illness. Currently there are no illnesses linked to these products.

Anyone who has consumed these products and has become ill should report their illness to their local public health office and see a physician if symptoms persist or become severe. Call the 24-hour HealthLink BC Line at 8-1-1 for more information.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Hardy RCMP investigating drug offences

Both vehicle occupants may face future charges related to the suspected drugs and cash.

Port McNeill’s Barb Drennan named forest technologist of the year

“Her work with the Heiltsuk First Nation is a model for other forest professionals”

Port McNeill council tackles the issue of AirBnBs

Council wants a public hearing to identify options for short-term rentals in Port McNeill.

Port McNeill council roundup: Feb. 11 meeting

Various stories from Port McNeill council’s Feb. 11 meeting.

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Most Read