Health officials: avoid eating Ventura shellfish

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VENTURA, Calif. (AP) – Health officials are warning seafood lovers to avoid shellfish, crustaceans and fish from Ventura County because dangerous levels of a nerve toxin have been detected in some species.

County environmental health officials warned Thursday against eating mussels, clams, anchovies, sardines and the innards of crab and lobster caught along the Ventura seashore because they contain elevated levels of domoic acid, a naturally occurring toxin that can cause illness or death in humans, though none have have been documented this year.

There’s also a current quarantine against sport-harvesting mussels along the California coast, though commercially sold clams, mussels, scallops and oysters from approved sources are acceptable.

Poisoning symptoms – such as vomiting or diarrhea – can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours of eating toxic seafood.

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