Commercial shellfish growing areas are monitored for algae and shellfish toxins. Generally, recreational waters are not routinely monitored for algae that cause PSP. This means collecting and eating wild shellfish always carries some risk.
Wild shellfish from unmonitored areas may also be contaminated by viruses and/or heavy metals.
It is especially unsafe to eat wild shellfish from:
Cooking or freezing the shellfish does not destroy the toxins that cause PSP.
Commercial (shop-bought) shellfish are safe to eat because of close monitoring for paralytic shellfish toxins and other contaminants.
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