A SERIOUS health warning has been issued about clams and cockles collected in a harbour.
Chichester District Council is warning residents and businesses who collect clams and cockles from beds in the Prinsted area of Chichester Harbour, near Emsworth, that they could be harmful to health.
The warning relates specifically to clams and cockles.
Analysis of tests carried out on samples gathered by the council’s health protection team showed that they are carrying potentially harmful bacteria.
As a result, the safety class of these beds has been temporarily downgraded.
Councillor Roger Barrow, in charge of environment at Chichester, said: ‘The bacteria found pose a serious risk to people’s health and our advice to residents is not to collect any shellfish until further notice.
‘Food businesses need to abide by strict regulations to ensure the safety of the public.
‘We would like to reassure residents that our Health Protection team is working with CEFAS (The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and is closely monitoring the situation.
‘More tests on clams and cockles from these beds are due to take place and the team is keeping its decision to downgrade the area under review.
‘We will of course keep people updated but I would urge people to exercise extreme caution until we have further information.’