The Shellfish Partnership

a person opening a shellfish

The Shellfish Partnership was formed in 2012 to help the Food Standards Agency (FSA) deliver integrated and cost-effective official food safety controls for molluscan shellfish in the UK. This is required for shellfish-harvesting areas, as described in EC Regulations.

In 2017, the Shellfish Partnership was restructured to cover services delivered on behalf of FSA and Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

Co-ordinated by Cefas, the Shellfish Partnership laboratories (listed below) have an excellent track record for official control programmes delivery and specific expertise in shellfish safety. 

On a day-to-day basis the Partnership laboratories work to common standards under a contract agreed with FSS. 

The individual laboratories deliver the following services for the specified locations. 

Cefas - Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science 

  • UK-wide: FSA liaison; Partnership co-ordination; sanitary surveys programme and reports
  • England, Wales and Scotland: biotoxins monitoring
  • England and Wales only: phytoplankton monitoring; classification
  • Scotland: E.coli monitoring (not for Shetland and Orkney)

Fera - Food and Environment Research Agency

  • England, Wales and Scotland: chemical contaminants monitoring
  • Northern Ireland: PCBs and dioxin monitoring

HMMH - HallMark Meat Hygiene (Scotland) Ltd

  • Scotland: sanitary surveys (bacteriology)
  • Shetland and Orkney: sanitary surveys (shoreline)

SAMS - Scottish Association for Marine Science

  • Scotland: phytoplankton monitoring; sanitary surveys (shoreline and hydrography) (not for Shetland or Orkney)

SSQC Ltd - Shetland Seafood Quality Control Ltd

  • Shetland and Orkney: E.coli monitoring; sanitary surveys (shoreline and hydrography)

The Shellfish Partnership works closely with the FSA and FSS (the Competent Authorities), local authorities and contractors responsible for sampling and other local activities. 

To view the latest results from the shellfish monitoring programmes, and for further information, please consult the FSA and FSS websites.

Harmonised sampling protocols and forms

The following list of protocols and forms are used across the Shellfish Partnership, under the official control monitoring programmes.