Online map shows shellfish risks in real-time

Peninsula Daily News

OLYMPIA — A new online shellfish safety map provides recreational shellfish harvesters an up-to-date look at biotoxins, pollution and bacteria levels at public beaches or on private property.

Beach names, nearby landmarks and specific addresses are searchable to help provide real-time information on shellfish safety risks.

Keep info current

The map at was developed to provide current information about areas where water quality conditions and public health risks are evaluated by the state Department of Health.

Shellfish filter water and may retain harmful bacteria, viruses and toxins that can cause nausea, vomiting or diarrhea when eaten, and some diseases caused by marine toxins can be life-threatening, the health department said.

The health risk for eating raw shellfish increases during the summer.

“People can lower their risk of getting sick by following the three C’s of shellfish safety: check, chill and cook,” the department said.

In addition, harvesters also should check the state Department of Fish and Wildlife website at to verify that harvesting is allowed.

Shellfish should be chilled as soon as they’re harvested and kept cold until they’re cooked, the department said.

Cooking shellfish to an internal temperature of 145 degrees will kill vibrio bacteria, but it does not destroy biotoxins.

For more information, visit

Last modified: July 31. 2014 5:47PM
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