Venus Bay pipi warning
FISHERIES Victoria is advising people that pipis harvested from the Venus Bay area should not be eaten due to potentially high levels of toxins found in the shellfish.
Executive director Travis Dowling said laboratory analysis of a recent sample of pipis detected okadaic acid, a naturally occurring seafood toxin that can cause Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) in humans.
“Okadaic acid is a naturally occurring marine toxin produced by microscopic algae. Pipis eat these algae and can retain the toxin, sometimes at levels that can make people sick,” Mr Dowling said.
Mr Dowling said the consumption of pipis from the Venus Bay area should be avoided while further testing of the shellfish continues.
“Pipis bought from retail or wholesale seafood suppliers are safe to eat as they are regularly monitored for contaminants, and commercial harvesting is not permitted when conditions lead to unsafe levels of toxins,” he said.
“Any pipis harvested from the Venus Bay area within the previous three months should be discarded by placing them in your regular rubbish bin as DSP is not destroyed by cooking or freezing.
“People who have consumed pipis should watch out for symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea which generally occur within 24 hours of consuming shellfish containing the toxin.”
The Department of Health and Human Services advises that anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek advice from their doctor or call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24.
A coordinated response between the relevant government agencies is currently underway to determine toxin levels in the pipi population at Venus Bay and surrounding areas.
The public will be notified when it is determined that pipis from Venus Bay are again safe to eat.
For further information contact the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources on 136 186 or go to www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries
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