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Molluscan Shellfish Safety Committee (MSSC) Forum


The MSSC is an open forum and anyone with a relevant matter to discuss is free to attend and participate. Regular attendees at the MSSC include representatives from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, The Marine Institute, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, IFA Aquaculture, Uisce √Čireann, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Health Service Executive and industry.







Terms of Reference

The Molluscan Shellfish Safety Committee (MSSC) has broad terms of reference. These are:

  • protection of consumer health;
  • ensuring that Ireland complies with relevant food safety legislation regarding the placing of molluscan shellfish on the market;
  • ensuring consumer confidence in the safety of molluscan shellfish;
  • supporting the long term sustainable development of the shellfish industry and to maximize its export potential;
  • ensuring that any changes in legislation are introduced into the monitoring programme in a co-operative and open manner.

Within these terms of reference the MSSC may develop particular areas of work or projects, and can, in the light of risk profiles, recommend adjustments to sampling, monitoring and testing programmes to the competent authorities.

The MSSC may also delegate some of this work or some of its functions to sub-groups or sub-committees, constituted by members of the MSSC and anyone not a member of the MSSC, but co-opted to become a member of a sub-group or sub-committee.

Code of Practice for the Irish Shellfish Monitoring Programme (Biotoxins)

The following Code of Practice (COP) relates to the monitoring of biotoxins and reflects current best practice and legal requirements. The COP outlines the procedures for:
1. Collection and delivery of shellfish and phytoplankton samples
2. Analysis of shellfish samples
3. Assigning a status to a production area
4. Communication of results
5. Additional management procedures including the Management Cell

The COP outlines the responsibilities of shellfish samplers and shellfish managers. It explains the partnership approach of the MSSC to the Irish Shellfish Monitoring Programme. The document has been developed by the Official Agencies and approved by the MSSC, and will be updated as needed.