Danes warned not to eat beach mussels

July 25, 2006

Danish environmental experts are warning people about the danger of eating mussels collected on beaches or off the coast of Denmark.

Because of recent hot weather and subsequent blossoming of algae in coastal waters, mussels have accumulated toxins that can attack nerves of people who eat the mussels, officials told the Copenhagen Post. The nerve poisons cause extreme itching, memory loss, paralysis or death. There is no treatment for the type of poisoning one gets from eating mussels, scientists told the Post.

Government officials have banned commercial fishing of mussels in the Limfjord and Kattegat areas and in the North Sea. Only two areas on the island of Zealand have been cleared for catching mussels; all commercially caught mussels will have to be approved by the Danish Food and Veterinary Administration before being sold.

Three different types of poisons can be found in the mussels and symptoms develop immediately to 24 hours after exposure.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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