Shellfish are safe to eat

THE Health and Human Services Department has cancelled the precautionary advice issued on February 7 not to eat mussels, oysters and pipis collected from the Gippsland Lakes because of an algal bloom.

The department’s acting chief health officer, Dr Roscoe Taylor, said the results from testing of seafood had shown toxin levels well below food safety guideline values during two consecutive weeks of samples.

“Additionally, water sampling shows that the size of the bloom has significantly reduced in the lakes,” he said.

“There is no longer any concern about toxin accumulation in bivalve species of shellfish from the Pseudo-nitzschia delicatissima algal bloom.

“The precautionary advice signs around the lakes will be removed.

“I thank the community for its understanding during this period, and also our colleagues across a number of government agencies for their assistance in dealing with this issue.”

Routine testing of algae levels in the Gippsland Lakes will continue weekly for at least the remainder of summer.