Testing the ‘hygiene’ of commercially valuable shellfish stocks is important for public health and the aquaculture economy. Rigorous and routine checking protects consumers’ health and safeguards the standards of the shellfish industry in a competitive market.
Loughs Agency collects samples for the Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland (FSANI), Food Standards Agency Ireland (FSAI) and Sea Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA). The specimens are taken from agreed production areas in Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle.
Testing is carried out for two types of contamination: biotoxin, and E.coli or microbiological, contamination. Water samples are also examined for the presence of biotoxin-producing plankton.
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