FDA warns consumers in at least 7 states not to eat mussels from parts of Newfoundland

By Chris Benson

March 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday advised retailers and restaurants in at least seven eastern states not to sell mussels found in parts of Newfoundland.

The federal regulatory agency said that some live and contaminated mussel products from Allen's Fisheries, Ltd. in Benoit's Cove, Newfoundland, which were fished in certain parts of the northeast Canadian coast -- harvested February 7 through February 18 -- were shipped and distributed to Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Massachusetts and possibly to other states.


"Contaminated shellfish can cause illness, especially if eaten raw, particularly in people with compromised immune systems," according to a release by the FDA, who said that contaminated food "may look, smell and taste normal" and warned consumers that with these particular mussels they may experience "food poisoning symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach pain or cramps, nausea, vomiting, or fever should contact their healthcare provider, who should report their symptoms to their local Health Department.

The FDA advised restaurants, as well as retailers, to not sell or serve the potentially contaminated sea products, to dispose of them or arrange for a return to their origin, and advised those who handle such food products to take the necessary steps top avoid cross-contamination on food processing equipment.


Friday's announcement by the FDA on mussels fished from Canada cited climate change as the reason for the contamination.

In 2020, climate change was said to be driving a decline in sea life, including mussels, along Maine's coast. A year later, it was reported that supplies of seafood such as mussels and salmon were projected to drop globally 16% by 2090 if meaningful action is not taken to address climate change.

A 2016 report indicated how the blue mussel in the New England region was quickly disappearing due to the warming of water temperatures stretching from Cape Cod in Massachusetts north to Canada.

That was followed in 2019 by reports that an infectious cancer among mussels had spread and was living along British Columbia on Canada's west coast south of Alaska. And the year prior in 2018, mussel shells along California's coast were reported to be altering due to ongoing ocean acidification.

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