Harvesters and retailers of shellfish are required by the USDA, NSSP, CSSP, The EU's EC's Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety and other national government's Shellfish Sanitation Program's to tag their containers of shellfish with certain information in order to assure public safety.
This includes but not limited to: Oysters, clams, mussels, sushi grade fish and others.
The NSSP is a federal/state cooperative program recognized by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) for the sanitary control of shellfish produced and sold for human consumption. A similar program is used in Canada (CSSP) and the EU (DG SANTE, formerly known as DG SANCO), is the competent authority and represents EUMS with respect to food safety controls for shellfish and seafood.
Why is This Information Important?
Shellfish poisoning is a general term used to indicate poisoning that occurs when shellfish (mainly oysters, clams, scallops or mussels) are eaten by humans. Shellfish are usually associated with saltwater habitats, but some species inhabit freshwater.