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French mussels recalled over paralysis toxin fears

Batches of mussels have been recalled from the supermarkets Carrefour and Intermarché after they were found to contain toxins that could cause paralysis, or even death, if eaten.

The mussels come from the Maredoc company, reports consumer magazine 60 Millions de Consommateurs.

They have been found to be at risk of containing paralysing toxins dubbed PSP (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning), which can cause severe food poisoning, paralysis, or death if ingested.

The products at risk are:

  • 1.4 kg boxes of rope-grown mussels under the brand Filière Qualité Carrefour. They have the bar code, 3 276 559 382 196, lot number 10732947, health stamp reading FR 34.108.530 CE and the date 31/05/2019.
  • 10kg bags of rope-grown mussels, sold by Intermarché between May 28 and June 2. They have the lot number 107292, and the health stamp, FR 34.108.530 CE.

Advice to anyone who has these products is to not eat them, throw them away, or take them back to the original point of sale for a refund.

PSP toxins remain dangerous even after cooking. They can cause symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, problems moving and incoherent speech.

They can also cause death by paralysis of the respiratory muscles, and the first symptoms can appear within 30 minutes of eating the affected shellfish.

The minister for food and agriculture has said that total recovery in just a few days is possible, if “appropriate treatment”  is sought immediately after contamination.

The toxins themselves originally comes from micro-algae, and in France is generally found in Brittany and Languedoc-Roussillon, and sometimes also in the Mediterranean Sea.

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