Fish & Shellfish
Other Potential Hazards There are other potential hazards in fish and shellfish however, such as mercury, cadmium and other chemical contaminants. Shellfish toxins can cause serious illness, and shellfish harvesters should be aware of the dangers. Other problems with fish and shellfish may be caused by escolar, ciguatera, scombroid or histamine poisoning, parasites (worms) and bacterial and viral agents.
If you think you’ve experienced a foodborne illness from eating fish or shellfish, see your doctor and contact your local health authority. A summary of symptoms for shellfish poisoning can be viewed here.
Good Handling PracticesTemperature control and good handling practices are critical to reduce fish and shellfish illnesses. The safety of seafood products decreases rapidly above refrigeration temperatures. Follow the “cook”, “clean”, “chill”, “separate” principles to prevent foodborne illness.
GuidelinesIf you retail or sell live fish and shellfish there are other guidelines you must be aware of, such as the correct temperature and salinity for holding live fish (see Live Retail Fish Holding Systems Guidelines also translated into Traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese).
You are also required to keep the shellfish harvest tags for a minimum of one year (see Shellfish Safety – Restaurant Operator Advice).
Opening a fish processing plant?
Planning on going fishing or digging up clams and oysters on the beach?
The information on these pages represent the work we do on behalf of the public, industry and government. Some of this information was written for the general public and some was written in technical language for public health.
Contact us:Food Protection Services phone 604.707.2440
NCC Environmental Health phone 604.829.2551
Poison Control Centre phone 604.682.5050 or 1.800.567.8911
Last Updated: May 16, 2013