The Best Way To Handle Marine Toxins Is To
The Best Way to Handle Marine Toxins
It is important to properly cook food to prevent foodborne illness from marine toxins. It is a good idea also to separate the meat from the viscera. This will prevent you from eating raw fish or shellfish. You should also check the temperature of your grilled shrimp or baked chicken. Ensure that it is thoroughly cooked by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part.
Seawater contains toxins from many organisms, including bacteria. Histamine is a chemical produced by bacteria that can cause foodborne disease. This chemical is usually found in fin fish. It is best to avoid eating seafood that contains toxins, especially in the summer.
Marine toxins affect the nervous system by interfering with ion channels and nerve impulse transmission. They can cause seizures, gastrointestinal upset, and blindness. Neurotoxins can be fatal if ingested by humans or by animals. According to the World Bank, the cost of foodborne illnesses caused by marine toxins amounts to $15 billion annually.
Shellfish that filter water can contain toxic substances. Most shellfish are filter feeders, meaning they consume whatever particles are present in the water. The toxins from algae remain in the system of shellfish because they are food for algae. The higher the concentration of algae in the shellfish, the more concentrated the toxin will be in its tissue.
Most marine toxins are neurotoxic but most do not cause notable encephalopathy. Nitzschia pegns, for example, produces domeic acid, a toxin. It bioamplifies in shellfish and exerts neurotoxic effects in humans. This toxin is the cause of the 1987 Prince Edward Island amnestic shellfish poisoning, and it has also been identified in the waters off California and Oregon.
Avoiding shellfish contaminated by marine toxins is the best way to manage them. These toxins can be fatal in high levels in shellfish. This problem can be solved, however. Shellfish-contaminated shellfish should be avoided or discarded immediately.
PSP, or polysaccharide, occurs in temperate waters and is most common in the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. PSP is toxic and can cause severe respiratory problems and even death. Symptoms can begin within minutes and may last up to ten hours.