See below for details of one of SRSL's ongoing microbiological monitoring programmes:
- Category: Microbiological Monitoring
Microbiological monitoring of shellfish harvesting areas; sanitary surveys, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) for the Food Standards Agency (FSA) 2012-2015
In June 2012, the Shellfish Partnership (SRSL in collaboration with CEFAS and Shetland Seafood Quality control) was awarded a contract for the 'Provision of Official Control Service for Shellfish Sanitary Surveys' by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The project involves a complex programme of field surveys to assess sources of contamination in the harvesting areas around shellfish farms in Scotland (excl Orkney & Shetland). There are 29 sanitary surveys are to be completed by 31st March 2015, with the possibility of contract extension for an additional 2 years, with further surveys.
The surveys consist of undertaking shoreline walk-downs around shellfish farms to assess potential sources of contamination (i.e., sewerage outfalls, farm run-off etc). Water samples and other measurements are to be taken around the shoreline and at the shellfish farm areas. These samples will be analysed for several parameters including E.coli. As part of the surveys, the extent of the shellfish farming operations are also to be verified. Strict timelines are in place for dispatch of samples collected and issue of the subsequent survey reports.
Sanitary surveys are an essential first step towards establishing a microbiological monitoring programme for the classification of bivalve production areas. All new bivalve production areas require a sanitary survey.