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(file pix) Sabah Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Junz Wong had announced that shellfish, including oysters and clams, from Kuala Penyu were not safe to be eaten because of a toxic algae blooming incident or red tide had been detected in the area. NSTP/ABDULLAH YUSOF

KOTA KINABALU: More areas in the state are affected by the red tide phenomenon, according to Sabah Fisheries department.

Samples from several districts including Purun Pasir in Kuala Penyu, Kampung Binsulok in Beaufort, Sungai Mengkabong in Tuaran, and Tanjung Dupil in Putatan here tested positive for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin.

Meanwhile, tests on several samples from Teluk Ambong in Kota Belud and Trayong in Tuaran were negative, but continuous monitoring was needed.

Last week, Sabah Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Junz Wong had announced that shellfish, including oysters and clams, from Kuala Penyu were not safe to be eaten because of a toxic algae blooming incident or red tide had been detected in the area.

Tuaran Fisheries Enforcement later issued a letter on Dec 10 to warn the public about the red tide phenomenon in the district.

“Members of the public are prohibited from selling or consuming shellfish such as oysters and clams.

“However, other types of seafood such as fish, squids and prawns are safe but the internal organs have to be removed and cleaned prior to cooking,” the letter said.

The PSP toxin is colourless, odourless and cannot be seen with the naked eye. It cannot be destroyed by washing, freezing or cooking.

Among initial poisoning symptoms are pulsating in the lips and tongue in the first 30 minutes and the feeling of being poked by pins and needles on the skin.

In severe cases, victim could lose control of the limbs and have difficulty breathing.

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