'Do not consume': Warning issued after toxins found in shellfish

Routine monitoring of Loch Sunart revealed increased levels of naturally occurring biotoxins.

Highland Council issues warning after increased levels of biotoxins found in Loch Sunart shellfish iStock
Warning: Oysters, mussels, cockles and razor fish from Loch Sunart off-limits due to toxins.

Residents in the Highlands have been warned not to consume shellfish from Loch Sunart due to “increased levels” of a biotoxin.

Highland Council issued the warning after its environmental health team found increased levels of “naturally occurring” bivalve shellfish toxins in the the West Lochaber loch.

It warned that eating the shellfish, such as cockles, mussels, oysters or razor fish, from the body of water could pose a health risk.

Businesses harvesting in the area have been alerted by council officers.

Residents were warned that cooking would not reduce or remove any risks caused by the biotoxins.

The council said: “As a sensible precaution, people should avoid eating bivalve shellfish from this area until further notice. It is important to note that cooking does not remove risks from consumption.

“Commercial shellfish harvesters in the area have been contacted by the council.”

Food Standards Scotland stated that consuming the biotoxins could lead to illnesses from sickness and diarrhoea, to more serious conditions which could lead to hospital treatment.