News: Shellfish in Kuantan Port waters poisonous

The Star, 4 Sep 2014

KUANTAN: The public is advised not to pick or consume shellfish like cockles and mussels in the Kuantan Port waters at Tanjung Gelam as they are contaminated with paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).

State Rural Development, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Committee chairman Datuk Shafik Fauzan Sharif said tests conducted on samples of mussels and plankton showed toxin readings of between 317 and 3,560 microgrammes (ug)
per 100 grammes.

“These toxin readings are above the standard set at 80 ug/100g, hence could endanger consumers’ health and even cause death if no immediate treatment is sought,” he said after closing the Strengthening Pahang Fishery Community Seminar.

The toxin contamination is the first to occur in Pahang waters. It was first detected after a number of individuals experienced food poisining after eating mussels from the area in November last year and a similar case happened in August this year.

In the second incident, the toxin was detected through tests conducted by the Fisheries Department’s security bureau on samples of mussels from the area after a group of Indonesian workers suffered food poisoning after eating the shellfish on Aug 1.

Pahang Fisheries Department director Adnan Hussain said the department was investigating the source of the contaminaton and as a precautionary measure, it had placed signboards warning people not to pick or eat shellfish from the area.

 “We will also analyse samples of water from the area each week to determine the toxin levels and would issue a warning if the water there is not safe for the public,” he said. – Bernama

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