EFSA advises on shellfish heat treatment

| December 17, 2015

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-fresh-mussels-image18544588The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published new advice on the heat treatment of bivalve molluscs to eliminate pathogenic microorganisms, particularly viruses.

The advice, compiled by experts from the Panel on Biological Hazards, is based on an evaluation of possible alternatives to the heat treatments for molluscs specified in current EU legislation. These treatments can affect the quality of shellfish.

The Panel considered the risk of Norovirus and Hepatitis A contamination in bivalves like oysters, mussels and clams and identified time/temperature combinations equivalent to the current requirement to heat to 90oC for 90 seconds and giving the same reduction in virus levels.

They found that the current heat process might have a variable effect on virus levels depending on how it is applied, particularly the time taken to reach 90oC and the cooling time.

The new advice can be found in full on the EFSA website here.

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