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Shellfish Classification for Scotland Agreed

SCOTLAND, UK - The Food Standards Agency has agreed the 2009/10 classification areas for shellfish production in Scotland in accordance with European Union legislation. The document listing the classifications came into effect from 1 April 2009.

Shellfish production areas are classified according to the results of monthly microbiological sampling that monitors the amounts of E.coli per 100g of shellfish flesh.

Classified production areas fall into three classes (see below) and refer to areas where E.coli has been found. Areas with greater levels of E.coli than class C are designated as prohibited and are those considered unsuitable, for public health reasons, for harvesting shellfish.

  • Class A: refers to areas equal to or with less than 230 E.coli per 100g of flesh
  • Class B: refers to areas with greater than 230 up to 4,600 E.coli per 100g of flesh in at least 90 per cent of samples
  • Class C: refers to areas greater than 4,600 to 46,000 E.coli per 100g of flesh
  • Prohibited: greater than 46,000 E.coli per 100g of flesh

All shellfish must meet class A standards before it can be placed on the market and sold. Shellfish from classes B and C will need further processing, for example purification or heat treatment in an establishment approved for this purpose. It is the responsibility of the food business operator to make sure that shellfish being placed on the market meet end-product criteria stipulated in European Union legislation.

Further Reading

- A full list of classified shellfish harvesting areas in Scotland can be found by clicking here.

the Fish Site Editor

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