Argyll and Bute Council issues warning over toxin levels in shellfish

Argyll and Bute Council

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People are being advised to avoid eating shellfish from Loch Melfort and Seil Sound due to a high level of natural toxins.

Routine monitoring by Argyll and Bute Council found the two areas contained levels of algal toxins which are above the legally permitted level.

Members of the public are being asked not to harvest them.

The toxins accumulate in molluscs such as mussels, oysters, cockles and razor clams.

This comes as raised levels of Escheria coli (E.coli) bacteria have been identified in Oitor Mhor Bay.

A potential risk of raised levels of E.coli has also been found at Dunstaffange, Kerrera East, Loch na Cillie and Loch Riddon.

This was discovered due to monitoring work by Argyll and Bute Council’s environmental health team.

A spokesman for Argyll and Bute Council said: ‘Eating shellfish such as cockles, mussels, oysters and razor fish from affected areas can pose a risk to human health.

‘Notices to warn the public and casual gatherers have been posted along the shore. Commercial shellfish harvesters in these areas have been contacted by the council and steps taken to postpone harvesting until bacterial levels subside.

‘People are advised to avoid eating shellfish from these areas until further notice as a precaution.

‘When levels subside, the warning notices will be removed.’

For further information, contact the environmental health team on 01631 567849.

Food Standards Scotland can also be contacted on 01224 285100 or at scot/food-safety-standards/adv ice-business-and-industry/shel lfish/shellfish-results.