Sanitary Contamination

Shellfish may be contaminated by human or animal faeces that contain bacteria or viruses hazardous to human health. Pathogens such as Norwalk virus, Hepatitis A virus, or salmonella may be concentrated in bivalve shellfish that live in sanitary contaminated areas.

Consumption risks

Consumption of raw or partially cooked bivalve shellfish from contaminated areas increases the risk of illness, especially for individuals with certain medical conditions or with compromised immune systems.

To reduce the risks

Check to ensure that the area where you intend to harvest is open, immediately prior to harvesting. As an added precaution, cooking the shellfish may destroy the common micro-organisms of public health concern. For more information, please visit the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program page (Canadian Food Inspection Agency site)