Dozens sick from possibly contaminated mussels

In another case of government-types burying the lede, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Sunday warned consumers not to eat certain B.C. mussels.

Half-way through the press release, CFIA stated, “There have been reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these mussels.”

Yesterday, News1130 reported the number of people sick from a bad batch of mussels from Salt Spring Island is now up to 50.

Doctor Eleni Galanis with the BC Centre for Disease Control says they may be contaminated with Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning biotoxin or DSP.

"Unfortunately, it’s not a toxin that can be denatured or killed by cooking so even though the mussels have been well cooked, people can still become ill."

The affected mussels were harvested by Island Sea Farms Inc. from the harvest location “Area: BC 13, Sub Area: 15”or “BC 13-15” between July 19 and August 2, 2011.

The following mussels are affected by this alert:

Saltspring Island Mussels
Aquacultured Edulis Mussels
5 lbs (2.27 kg)
All lots up to and including Lot # 289; all harvest dates up to and including August 2, 2011 (2011AU02)
Albion Fisheries Ltd
Mussel N/Shell Saltspring Isl
5 lbs
All harvest dates up to and including August 4, 2011 (8/04/2011)
Pacific Rim Shellfish Corp.
Mussels or Gallo Mussels
Various weights
All harvest dates up to and including July 31, 2011
SSI Mussels
Various weights
Ship dates of July 20 to August 4, 2011 inclusive
B & C Food
Various weights
Processing dates of July 20 to August 4, 2011 inclusive

Retailers and restaurants are advised to check the tags or labels on mussel packages or with their supplier to determine if they have the affected product.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time