Health officials issue warning on red tide

Posted July 09, 2010, at 8:48 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Public health officials in Maine are reminding people about the dangers of eating shellfish that contain red tide toxins.

Dr. Dora Mills of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said especially high levels of red tide toxins are being reported Down East from Cutler to the Canadian border.

She said Mainers and tourists should buy shellfish from certified dealers, whose operations undergo extensive screening. People who harvest their own shellfish should make sure the areas are not closed to harvesting because of red tide. Lobster eaters never should consume the tomalley, the soft green substance in the body cavity of the lobster.

Lobster meat is safe.

In the last three years, eight people in Maine have been treated for nonfatal red tide poisonings.

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