TORONTO (AP) – Some folks might be surprised that a warning is necessary, but Canada’s health agency is advising against eating too much lobster tomalley.
Tomalley, the green innards that serve as a liver and pancreas for lobster, can sometimes contain a toxin known as paralytic shellfish poison, Health Canada said.
If ingested in large amounts, the toxin can cause tingling and numbing of the arms and legs, headaches, dizziness and nausea, the agency said. In rare cases, it can cause paralysis, respiratory difficulty or even death, it said.
Health Canada recommends that adults consume the tomalley of no more than two lobsters a day. For children, it’s one lobster a day.
In Maine, health officials have long advised pregnant women, nursing mothers and women of child-bearing age to avoid tomalley. Tests of lobster in Maine’s coastal waters have shown worrisome levels of dioxin in tomalley.
The meat is safe to eat, though. There are no limits on the amount of lobster meat that can be consumed.