Diver Harvested Scallops

The information on this page is brought to you by Seafish and FSA(Scotland).

Divers harvesting and supplying scallops have certain responsibilities under EU and UK Law. This web page aims to provide information and guidance to help you provide a seafood product which is safe to eat and meet your legal obligations’




1. Legislation and Diver Harvested Scallops

2. Outline of Key Diver Responsibilities

3. Algal Toxin Testing Criteria

4. Critical Documentation for scallop suppliers

5. Criteria for the classification of shellfish harvesting areas

6. End Product Testing criteria.

7. Other essential information.

Legislation and Diver Harvested Scallops - This page is no longer maintained so the legislation

may be out of date.

Regulation 852/2004
Regulation 853/2004

Regulation 854/2004
Regulation 178/2002

Food Safety Act 1990 - a guide for food businesses
Food Safety Act 1990 - amendment regulations 2004

Outline of Key Diver Responsibilities

A registration document, available from your local EHO, must be completed and accompany each batch of scallops when sending to a processor, fish auction , despatch or purification centre;

Wild harvested scallops may only be placed on the market via a fish auction, processing establishment or despatch centre.

When making direct sales to the end consumer, the harvester is responsible for ensuring that the scallops meet the end product criteria set out in legislation.

Therefore harvesters are responsible for carrying out a risk assessment and ensuring adequate microbiological and biotoxin testing is carried out as necessary;

If you are using the small quantities exemption you are exempt from the requirements of the food hygiene regulations, however, you must still ensure that your products are safe to eat and of a quality the consumer would expect.

It is good practice, and recommended that harvesters inform any consumers who directly purchase scallops of the following:

• The need to correctly shuck scallops and separate the viscera from the edible adductor muscle and gonad;

• How to inspect and trim the shucked scallop to remove any remaining material from the hepatopancreas (black or ink sac);

• The need to wash shucked edible scallop meat in clean running water for at least 10 minutes with occasional agitation - see this poster;

Algal Toxin Testing Criteria There are different types of toxins that can impact on the safety of the harvested scallops. They have been given a designated umbrella description, dependant on the symptoms shown by consumers intoxicated.

• Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP)
• Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP)
• Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP)

Maximum permitted levels have been set for the whole animal by EU legislation. They are:

• PSP - 800 micrograms per kilogram or 80 micrograms/100 grams of flesh.

• ASP - 20 milligrams of domoic acid per kilogram or 20 micrograms/100 grams of flesh.

• DSP – The three classes of toxins associated with Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning are:

1. Okadaic acid, dinophysistoxins and pectenotoxins together, 160 micrograms of okadaic acid equivalents per kilogram;

2. Yessotoxins, 1 milligram of yessotoxin equivalent per kilogram;

3. Azaspiracids, 160 micrograms of azaspiracid equivalents per kilogram.

NB: Local food enforcement authorities have agreed on standards of chemical testing for PSP and ASP. However, as at March 2010 there is no agreed standard of testing for DSP. Consequently, no DSP toxins are permitted at all. Therefore EPT (by whichever method chosen) will have to indicate either no toxin present (which would be acceptable) or toxin present (which would be unacceptable).

Critical Documentation for scallop suppliers

All harvesters are required to complete a ‘Registration Document’. This can be obtained from the Local Food Authority

The registration document should contain:

1. The harvesters identity and address.

2. Date of harvesting.

3. Clear indication of the location of the area where the scallops were harvested.

4. The species and quantity.

5. Health status of the production area.

6. Destination of the consignment.

Criteria for the classification of shellfish harvesting areas.

All inshore areas used for harvesting King Scallops must be classified by the regulator prior to harvesting.

This classification of shellfish beds is based on the numbers of certain bacteria (E.coli) found in bivalve molluscs recorded over a period of time.

• Class A: less than 230 Colony Forming Units (CFU). Harvested for direct human consumption.<

• Class B: 230 – 4,600 CFU. Must be purified (cleansed of bacteria through an approved depuration unit), relayed in an approved Class A relaying area, or heat treated by approved method before selling for human consumption.

• Class C: 4,600 – 46,000 CFU. Must be relayed (for a minimum of two months) to meet Class A or B, or be heat treated.

• Prohibited area: 46,000 + CFU. No harvesting for human consumption

7. Other Critical Information

It may be at the bottom of the page but this is still critical information for scallop divers. Divers who sell direct to restaurants pose a particular risk and must understand all of their responsibilities.

1. Manager's Introduction - pre course briefing. This is a training video for scallop processors about the dangers of biotoxins in scallops. As a diver selling to the food sector you have the same responsibilities as a processer so watch this video.

2. View the contents of the Scallop Processors page.

3. Contact Seafish's regulation team (regulation@seafish.co.uk) for the latest guidance on scallops safety.