City vet office says shellfish sold in Davao safe from red tide

Aug. 25, 2016
City Veterinarian Red Tide Monitoring Laboratory

Ruel Ibajan, inspector and officer-in-charge of the Red Tide Monitoring Laboratory of the City Veterinarian’s Office, explains the respective functions of the equipment. (City Information Office)

DAVAO CITY — The City Veterinarians Office said there is no need to worry eating shellfish sold here since no shellfish tested at the monitoring laboratory came out positive with red tide toxins so far.

Dr. Cerelyn Pinili, CVO chief, said testing of all shellfish are done at the city’s Red Tide Monitoring laboratory on a daily basis before they are sold in the city markets. Pinili said they test shellfish regardless of its point of origin.

CVO’s Inspector Roehl Ibajan explained that upon arrival of shellfish such as mussels in Bankerohan public market, they collect samples to be tested at the Red Tide Monitoring Laboratory. Most ot the shellfish sold in the City come from Western Samar, where the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources recorded samples that are found positive for paralytic shellfish poison. The BFAR said the samples were collected from Irong-Irong and Cambatutay Bays in Western Samar.

However, the Shellfish Bulletin 21, issued last month, declared fish, squids, shrimps, and crabs as safe for consumption provided they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs are removed before cooking.

“So far, there hasn’t been any (shellfish) that came out positive for the deadly red tide toxin,” Ibajan said.

Consumption of shellfish that are contaminated with the red tide toxin can cause Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning (NSP) with symptoms that manifest within a couple of hours of eating contaminated shellfish.

Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache, slurred speech, and general muscle weakness.

Worse, they also cause permanent, short term memory loss, brain damage, and even death. (

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