Shellfish warning issued for food businesses

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) together with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), has reminded food businesses to only purchase live bivalve molluscs, such as mussels, from suppliers that are approved by the SFPA to place live shellfish on the market for human consumption.

This advice follows the seizure by SFPA officers of five tonnes of mussels which had been harvested illegally in the East Ferry area of Cork Harbour.

This area is currently closed for the harvesting of mussels due to the presence of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning toxins, which can cause serious illness.

A member of the public observed a person sorting bags of mussels on the shore in the East Ferry area of Cork Harbour and contacted the SFPA.

From the quantities involved and their investigations, the Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers believed it was likely the mussels were intended for sale for human consumption in the Cork area and, as a result of the associated health concerns, they confiscated the shellfish.

Susan Steele, Chair of SFPA, said: “The Irish shellfish industry has world-class systems in place to ensure that consumers worldwide can enjoy Irish seafood safely. When individuals ignore these systems they threaten public health and undermine the excellent reputation that Irish seafood enjoys”.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI added: “These mussels would have posed a risk to human health if they had made it into the food chain”.

Any food business that may have concerns about their shellfish supplier or the traceability documentation provided by them, should contact the SFPA at 023 885 9300

(Lead image via Sea Fisheries Protection Authority)

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