In Ottawa, Canada, a hazard alert has been announced against specific lot codes of raw mussels. The affected mussels are believed to contain a shellfish toxin that can cause serious health risks to consumers.

The raw mussels were harvested between the 2nd of October to the 14th of October. The mussels were harvested from sub-area 15-4, the Okeover inlet in the area of British Columbia. Specific information about the affected raw mussels is the following:

Raw mussels processed by Aquatec Seafoods Limited. The mussels are sold in 10-pound bags (lot number 453), as well as 20-pound bags (lot number 466). These mussels were harvested October 3 and 10.

Raw mussels processed by Taylor Shellfish Canada. These mussels are known as “farmed salish mussels.” This product was sold in 10-pound bags (lot number 6206) and 20-pound bags (lot number 6233). These mussels were harvested October 2 and October 9.

The affected mussels were distributed mainly to institutional clients (restaurants) and wholesalers. However, it is also possible that the mussels have been redistributed to smaller food retail stores. The raw mussels may have been sold in small quantities in stores. The CFIA advises that consumers who are unsure if the mussels they bought are included in the affected lots should check with their supplier or retailer.

The “Paralytic Shellfish Toxin” that is believed to be present in the raw mussels can cause several symptoms once it enters the body’s system. These symptoms include lip, tongue, hand and feet tingling and numbness. More severe symptoms include difficulty in walking, respiratory paralysis and muscle paralysis. In worst cases, ingesting this toxin can lead to death. Currently, no medical emergency has been reported that is related to the affected raw mussels.