Maine DMR Issues A Recall Of Shellfish Due To Biotoxin
by The Maine Department of Marine Resources
Posted: 2017-09-15 15:54:04 EST

The Maine Department of Marine Resources is in the process of recalling mussels harvested from Frenchman Bay due to elevated levels of domoic acid, the biotoxin that causes Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP). The recall follows a closure implemented yesterday of the area between East Point on MDI and Cranberry Point in Gouldsboro to the harvest of mussels, clams, oysters and whelks (carnivorous snails).

Although not part of the recall area, a larger regional closure which stretches from Cape Jellison to Roque Bluffs and prohibits the harvest of mussels, European oysters and surf clams was also implemented yesterday. The larger closure was done precautionarily to protect public health, especially on offshore islands and remote areas.

All Maine shellfish dealers were notified today that product harvested in the closed area from MDI to Gouldsboro was subject to the recall. Today’s recall affects the following dealers who purchase directly from harvesters - Atlantic Shellfish in Jonesport, Eastern Maine Mussel in Hancock, Moosabec Mussels Inc. in Jonesport, and Pemaquid Oyster Company in Waldoboro.

Based on test results, mussels are the only product impacted by the recall at this point. The FDA mandates that actions including closures and recalls be taken if shellfish have 2 milligrams of domoic acid per 100 grams of shellfish tissue,

Dealers were instructed by DMR, per National Shellfish Sanitation Program guidelines, to provide a list of all customers and amounts of mussels sold which had been harvested from the area between MDI and Gouldsboro between September 10 and September 14. They were also directed to provide regular written report of recall activities to the department. The DMR will provide dealers further instruction at that point.

Dealers were also instructed to tell their customers to destroy any product on hand by putting them in the dumpster or landfill and to denature the product with bleach.

The specific amount of product affected by the recall is being determined by the DMR. Updates will continue to be issued directly to industry and other state shellfish authorities as well as the US FDA.

Areas will re-open when there are two consecutive scores from shellfish testing at least one week apart that are below the action level indicated above, and there is a decline in the concentration of phytoplankton in the water.

Source: The Maine Department of Marine Resources