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December 6, 1999

Geoduck Clams Sold in  San Francisco Bay area Markets Recalled for Toxins

Sacramento, CA (SafetyAlerts) - The California Department of Health Services (DHS) is advising consumers not to eat geoduck clams from Washington that were distributed to some San Francisco Bay area markets because they have high levels of the toxin that causes Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP).

The clams were harvested from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, 1999, by Jamestown Seafood (JKT Oyster Company) located in Sequim, Wash. The clams were distributed to dealers and retailers in the San Francisco Bay area and New York. No cases of PSP-related illness associated with the consumption of this product have been reported in California.

State health officials have determined that the geoduck clams being recalled were distributed to the following markets:

  • 99 Ranch in Milpitas, Cupertino and Richmond.
  • Lucky 7 Supermarket in Milpitas.
  • New Tin’s Market in Oakland.
  • Cheung Kong Market in Oakland.
  • Lucky Seafood in Oakland.

DHS has asked these retailers to conspicuously post information about the recall for consumers. geoduck clams purchased at other retail locations are not being recalled.

Mussels, clams, oysters and other shellfish can be contaminated with PSP when they feed on naturally occurring toxic algae. The symptoms of PSP include numbness or tingling of the lips and tongue. These sensations can spread to the face and fingertips. The symptoms generally develop within 30 minutes to two hours after consuming contaminated food. In some cases, the toxin can lead to a generalized paralysis. In severe cases, the toxin can result in respiratory paralysis and may become life threatening.

Cooking does not destroy the toxin. Consumers should discard the contaminated product or return it to the place of purchase.


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