HK suspends import of raw oysters from Australia's Tasmania

Updated 2017-09-24 09:30:50 Xinhua

The food safety authority of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) announced Saturday that the import into and sale within Hong Kong of raw oysters and shellfish from Australia's Tasmania has been suspended with immediate effect.

The trade should stop using and selling the product immediately should they possess it, said the Center for Food Safety (CFS) of the HKSAR government's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

"The CFS was notified by the Australian authorities that raw oysters harvested in Blackman Bay Lease 44 in Tasmania were detected with paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin, and the oysters harvested from Sept. 12 to 22 of 2017 from the harvested area concerned are being recalled," a spokesman for the CFS said.

"For the sake of prudence, the CFS has immediately suspended the import into and sale within Hong Kong of all raw oysters and shellfish harvested in the area," the spokesman said.

A local importer that has imported some of the affected product into Hong Kong has been contacted by the CFS and has initiated a recall according to the CFS instructions.

"PSP toxin can cause symptoms such as numbness of mouth and limbs and gastrointestinal discomfort. In severe cases, paralysis with respiratory arrest and even death may occur. This natural toxin is sometimes found in bi-valve shellfish. It is heat-stable and cannot be destroyed through cooking," the spokesman said.

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