Mussel warnings in effect

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Mussels, called blåskjell in Norway, are a summer delicacy for many along the coast, but Norwegian health authorities have been issuing warnings lately that some may be contaminated by poisonous algae and even sewage from pleasure boats.

Mussels, known as "blåskjell" in Norwegian. PHOTO: Norsk sjømat

“Folks should follow the warnings closely, they change from week to week,” senior inspector Anne Kare Hansen of the food safety authority Mattilsynet told news bureau NTB. Reports are available at www.matportalen.no (external link) or by calling Mattilsynet’s special “blåskjelltelefon.”

At Hvaler in Outer Østfold, for example, the authorities have advised caution, while mussels at Alsthaug in Nordland were approved. New reports are issued every Friday afternoon.

The authorities generally advise against harvesting mussels in areas with lots of boat traffic, where intestinal bacteria has been found in the shells.

Mussels remain a favorite on many restaurant menus, often served in a light white-wine cream sauce with lots of parsley and fried potatoes.

Views and News staff