MAST Warns Against Mussel Collection This Summer

Hvalfjörður mussels

The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) has issued a warning against the collection and consumption of mussels from Hvalfjörður fjord in West Iceland, just half an hour outside of Reykjavík. Diarrhetic Shellfish Poison, or DSP, algae toxins have been identified in the mussels in higher concentrations than is safe for human consumption.

According to measurements taken by MAST on May 4 at Fossá in Hvalfjörður, collected mussels contained 260 µg/kg DSP; the maximum level of DSP for safe human consumption is 160 µg/kg. As the toxicity level is so high, it is expected that Hvalfjörður mussels will be unsafe for human consumption all summer.

As indicated by the name, DSP toxins can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms occur quickly after consumption and should pass in a few days.

MAST also monitors aquaculture in Iceland and says there is no reason for people to avoid domestically farmed mussels.