Canada issues tomalley warning
Health Canada on Thursday updated its consumption advice for tomalley from lobsters harvested during the late fall/early winter 2008 due to toxins that can be found in the organ.
The announcement comes after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency provided information indicating a very small number of lobsters harvest during that time period may have paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).
There have been no reported cases of PSP.
Health Canada is recommending children not eat lobster tomalley and for adults to limit consumption to no more than the amount from one cooked lobster a day.
The advisory applies only to tomalley and not to lobster meat. Tomalley is a soft green substance found in the body cavity of lobster that serves as the liver and pancreas.
In late July 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers to avoid eating tomalley from American lobster due to concerns about PSP, following a warning from Maine health officials.
The high levels of PSP toxins were attributed to the red tide outbreak in northern New England and eastern Canada. Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Canada also issued advisories.
The same week the FDA advisory was released, Japan stopped live lobster shipments. Maine's lobster industry called the quarantine a misunderstanding on the part of Japanese officials.
U.S. and Canada health officials frequently monitor inshore waters and shellfish beds for PSP toxins and issue closures when they reach a certain level.