Not safe to gather oysters and mussels on west coast, authority warns

Algae poisoning can cause diarrhoea and vomiting

The food authority Fødevarestyrelsen has issued a warning to anyone gathering oysters or mussels in the Wadden Sea and along Denmark’s west coast as far as the Ringkøbing fjord.

The warning comes following the discovery in mussels of an algae contamination known as ‘diarrhetic shellfish poisoning’, which has been detected 25 kilometres west of Blåvandshuk, northwest of Esbjerg on Jutland’s west coast.

Consumption of the contaminated shellfish can cause diarrhoea and vomiting, and Fødevarestyrelsen cautions that although the contaminated specimens were found far from the coast, there is still a risk to gatherers on beaches on the west coast.

All mussels and oysters sold commercially in Denmark are tested for algae poisoning, so it is still safe to purchase shellfish in shops.

Fødevarestyrelsen has advice (in Danish) on its website for private people gathering oysters and mussels and it will also publicise when it is again safe to start collecting them here.