Test results and provisional risk assessment of Tetrodotoxin (TTX) in UK shellfish

Last updated:
13 March 2017
Information relating to testing and risk assessment of Tetrodotoxin (TTX) in UK shellfish.

TTX is a naturally occurring marine toxin.  It is mostly found in regions with high sea temperatures and commonly associated with Puffer Fish.  The UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) reported that TTX had been found at low levels in UK shellfish for the first time in 2015.

Since then, the FSA has completed a provisional risk assessment to look at the potential public health risk and Cefas has tested more shellfish samples looking at the level of TTX in shellfish from all parts of the UK.  

TTX has also been found by other Member States in shellfish harvested from their waters and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has been asked to review the latest evidence, including the information and data provided by the UK.  EFSA are expected to publish their scientific opinion on the toxicity of TTX in shellfish by end March 2017.