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Biotoxins Found In Port Dickson Mussels, Avoid Eating Lokan & Lala For Now

Biotoxins Found In Port Dickson Mussels, Avoid Eating Lokan & Lala For Now

The water samples and mussels in Port Dickson were contaminated with biotoxins and harmful algae species that caused the food poisoning cases this week.

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Eight cases of food poisoning believed to have been caused by eating mussels have been reported in Port Dickson. The first was reported on 1 April.

According to Negeri Sembilan Health Department director Datuk Dr Harlina Abdul Rashid, two people were admitted into the intensive care unit of the district hospital after experiencing paralysis.

Meanwhile, five other individuals have been warded for treatment and one person was given outpatient treatment.

She added that the affected individuals came from different families and had eaten mussels bought from two markets in Port Dickson.

The victims exhibited symptoms such as headaches, numbness in the hands and feet, and muscle weakness.

Due to this, the public has been advised to avoid consuming mussels or other bivalves such as lokan (marsh clams) and lala (live venus clams) until the authorities ascertain the cause of the food poisoning.

What’s in the mussels?

According to Malay Mail, the Kuala Lumpur Fisheries Biosecurity Centre’s laboratory found harmful algae that caused mussels in Port Dickson waters to be contaminated and unsafe to eat.

Department of Fisheries (DOF) deputy director-general of management, Wan Aznan Abdullah, said water samples and mussels in the waters were contaminated with biotoxins, including harmful Prorocentrum, Alexandrium and Pseudonitzschia algae species.

The hot weather is also one of the causes for the algae boom in the waters, but it didn’t affect other marine life such as fish, shrimp, crabs, and more.

The state Fisheries Department director Kasim Tawe advised the public to refrain from eating these mussels within 20 days.

The department will collect more samples after this festive season to be tested before confirming the mussels are safe to eat again.

The public is still free to eat fish, squid, crabs, and other marine produce for now.

Wan Aznan added that bivalves farmed and fished in other states such as Melaka and Johor are safe to eat. Only the ones in Port Dickson are not safe to consume.

The DOF is cooperating with other enforcement members such as the police and marine police in the waters to ensure there’s no harvest or sale of shellfish in the district.

Tawe said the existing mussels in the waters will neutralize themselves but the harvested ones to be sold in the market must be destroyed.

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