California Warns Consumers Not to Eat Anchovies, Sardines, Crab
The California Department of Public Health is warning consumers not to eat commercially or recreationally caught anchovies or sardines or the internal organs of crab from Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Dangerous levels of domoic acid have been found in some of these species and could be found in other species.
Domoic acid is produced by phytoplankton, a type of algae, and accumulates in shellfish, sardines and anchovies. It is a biotoxin that affects the brain. Several people have died over the years and may others have become permanently disabled with brain damage after eating domoic acid contaminated seafood. The first reported outbreak of domoic acid poisoning was in 1987 at Prince Edward Island, Canada. Three people died and more than 100 were sickened in that outbreak after eating contaminated seafood.
State issues warning over toxic seafood
State officials are advising consumers to stay away from certain types of seafood caught in the waters off Monterey and Santa Cruz counties after a toxic chemical was detected in some of the fish.
The California Department of Public Health issued the warning Thursday, telling the public to avoid sardines, anchovies and the internal organs of crabs because some samples from the region tested positive for domoic acid.
Domoic acid typically resides in the digestive tracts of the fish.
Symptoms of domoic acid poisoning usually set in between 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating tainted seafood and can include nausea, headaches, dizziness, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Severe cases can cause trouble breathing, loss of short-term memory, coma or death.