News release

Nova Scotians Warned About Potential Toxins in Certain Mussels, Clams

Mussels or clams sold on Thursday, June 2, at a fish shop in Lunenburg may be unsafe.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency tested blue mussels at the Corkums Island mussel farm on May 30, 2022 and discovered the presence of toxins responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning. The harvesting area has been closed.

Mussels and clams harvested on that day were sold to two customers on June 2 at the Corkums Island Mussel Farm and Fish Shop in Lunenburg.

If eaten, shellfish with toxins causing paralytic shellfish poisoning can cause a number of symptoms, including:

  • tingling
  • numbness spreading from the lips and mouth to the face, neck and extremities
  • dizziness
  • arm and leg weakness or paralysis
  • headaches and nausea
  • respiratory failure
  • death, in severe cases

Cooking or freezing will not remove the toxin, so anyone who bought these mussels or clams should discard them. Symptoms start quickly, between 30 minutes to three hours. There have been no reported illnesses to date.

Anyone who ate clams or mussels sold at the Corkums Island Mussel Farm and Fish Shop in Lunenburg on June 2, and has any of these symptoms, should seek medical attention.

The presence of these toxins in shellfish result from conditions in the marine environment, and not from any deficiencies in harvesting or processing.

Additional Resources:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency: https://inspection.canada.ca

-30-