The state Department of Health has lifted the ban on recreational harvesting of molluscan shellfish in Whatcom County, except for varnish clams.
Tests showed that levels of the biotoxins that cause paralytic and diarrhetic shellfish poisoning have dropped to safe levels in other shellfish in the county.
Crab meat isn't affected, but "crab butter" and crab entrails can harbor the biotoxins, which are not destroyed by cooking or freezing.
Paralytic shellfish poisoning can be life-threatening.
Molluscan shellfish sold in stores are tested before they are shipped to retailers and are safe to eat.
For more information, call the state shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-562-5632
Reach KIE RELYEA at email@example.com or call 715-2234.