Shellfish Review: Draft guidance on shellfish toxin controls for the scallop sector

Closed 19 May 2017

Opened 17 Feb 2017

Feedback expected 30 Jun 2017

Results updated 21 Sep 2018

Results Updated September 2018

We would like to thank all stakeholders that took the time to provide their considered views in relation to this consultation. 

As part of this exercise, interested parties were asked to comment on a draft guidance document produced to try and provide assistance to both businesses and enforcement authorities on how to manage the risks associated with naturally occurring toxins in the scallop sector. 

Further to the comments received, Food Standards Scotland has now published  Managing Shellfish Toxin Risks in the Scallop Sector guidance. The guidance is available here



The guidance is intended to help food businesses manage the inherent risk of biotoxins in scallops and to help local authorities (LAs) assess food safety management procedures in the businesses they inspect. It is anticipated that LAs will utilise this guidance in order to assess compliance in food businesses handling or processing scallops. FSS will audit LAs against the appropriate regulations and guidance in due course. 

This consultation provides an opportunity to comment on draft guidance which has been developed by Food Standards Scotland in order to provide greater clarity on the food safety controls that are expected to apply to the scallop sector, with particular reference to shellfish toxins.

The draft guidance sets out requirements for both primary producers involved in direct sale to the local market and businesses involved in placing scallops on the wider EU market.   It also introduces updated official control approaches for local authorities that will apply to establishments involved in placing whole or shucked product on the market in Scotland.

The revised guidance document accommodates responses from a previous consultation in February 2016[1], a local authority workshop in April 2016, as well as discussions that took place with industry and local authorities previously as part of an earlier Food Standards Agency Scotland review which completed in 2015.

The document is intended to bench mark both expected compliance levels by scallop businesses as well as enforcement approaches.  It is expected that once finalised local authorities will be audited by FSS against the standard outlined in the guidance document. 

Why your views matter

A copy of the draft guidance document is attached below.  In general terms the document consolidates existing guidance on the requirements applicable to food businesses placing scallops on the market and incorporates new guidance in relation to the sale of primary products direct to the local market.  However there are a number of specific issued covered in the draft which have either not been explicitly set out in guidance previously or which have been substantially changed here.

FSS would welcome comments on the document as a whole but have specific questions in relation to the areas set out in the Online Survey.

For each of the questions asked we would be particularly interested to hear from:

  • primary producers supplying or seeking to supply scallops to the local market;
  • inshore fishery groups;
  • caterers seeking to source such ‘exempt’ supply;
  • enforcement authorities for both primary production and caterer sectors.
  • The non-exempt trade (i.e. the approved establishment sector).

Your views and response to the content of this consultation would be most welcome.  In your response, please describe the capacity in which you are responding e.g. as a fisherman, caterer, local authority, private individual, shellfish processor or dispatch centre etc.  Your response to these questions and any other issues raised in the course of this consultation will assist in ensuring that proportionate and consistent controls apply across Scotland in order to mitigate the risks associated with shellfish toxins in the scallop sector.

Please note this consultation period has been extended by 1 month and will now close on 19th May 2017

What happens next

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us reach a decision on this issue.  We aim to issue a report summarising the outcome of this consultation by the end of June which will then inform any subsequent guidance or instrument considered necessary.

If you have given permission for your response to be made public and after we have checked that it contains no potentially defamatory material, your response will be made available to the public in the Food Standards Scotland website pages shortly thereafter. 


  • Food Manafacturer
  • Retailer
  • Enforcer
  • Fisherman
  • Local Authority
  • Consumer


  • Microbiological safety of food
  • chemical safety of food
  • food surveillance
  • environmental monitoring
  • food analysis
  • food safety
  • regulation
  • enforcement
  • primary production
  • health