Skagit County, Washington
May 23, 2018
Check for shellfish safety and cook your shellfish
Before harvesting shellfish, be aware of potential hazards. Be sure to check the Shellfish Safety Hotline (1-800-562-5632) or the shellfish website: https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/eh/maps/biotoxin/biotoxin.html for advisories including beach closures from biotoxins like Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). Biotoxins cannot be eliminated by cooking and can have neurological and gastrointestinal effects. High levels of PSP can cause severe illness and death. The maps are updated daily with current information.
Currently, Samish Bay has a posted advisory for raw shellfish consumption due to Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Vibrio is naturally occurring in marine waters in Washington and typically has elevated levels in the warmer months. Shellfish harvested from Samish Bay should not be consumed raw but may be safe if cooked to the minimum 145°F temperature. Commercial harvesters have special holding requirements during the summer months to reduce the risk of Vibrio in their products.
Vibrio infection can cause watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping, vomiting and fever for 2-5 days.