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Shellfish Toxin Forces Closure Of Vashon Island Beaches

SEATTLE (AP) – Washington health officials have closed Vashon-Maury Island’s Quartermaster Harbor beaches due to unsafe levels of a shellfish toxin.

The closure includes all species of shellfish including clams, geoduck, scallops, mussels, oysters and snails.

The closure does not include crab or shrimp. Crabmeat is not known to contain the PSP toxin, but the guts can contain unsafe levels, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

Commercial beaches are sampled separately and commercial products should be safe to eat.

Anyone who eats -contaminated shellfish is at risk for illness. A naturally occurring marine organism produces the toxin.

It’s not destroyed by cooking or freezing.

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