Last updated on 14 May 2013
Official control monitoring (live bivalve molluscs) programme (Scotland)
Information relating to biotoxin testing within Scottish waters up to 10 May 2013.
The maximum permitted levels of biotoxins in shellfish are as follows:
PSP: 800 micrograms/kilogram
ASP: 20 milligrams/kilogram
Lipophilic toxins (tested by LC-MS):
i. OA/DTXs/PTXs: 160 micrograms of okadaic acid equivalents/kilogram
ii. YTXs: 1 milligram of yessotoxin equivalent/kilogram
iii. AZAs: 160 micrograms of azaspiracid equivalents/kilogram
DSP (for species not tested by LC-MS): DSP toxins must not be present
For details of any Temporary Closure Notices and/or Warning Notices please contact your local authority environmental health officer for advice via the contact details further down the page.
The absence of information does not necessarily mean the area is free of biotoxins. It remains the responsibility of food business operators to ensure that their products comply with all relevant statutory requirements.
Please note that this report reflects the biotoxin results reported on Tuesday of each week.
Latest biotoxin monitoring results
Biotoxin monitoring results: 14 May 2013
Phytoplankton monitoring is being carried by Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) on behalf of the Food Standards Agency Scotland.
Water samples are collected from designated shellfish growing areas and analysed, by light microscopy, for various species of phytoplankton.
Alert level phytoplankton concentrations have been set as per the table below and harvesters should take the necessary precautions if wanting to harvest under alert conditions.
|Greater than 0 cells/litre of Alexandrium|
|Greater than or equal to 100 cells/litre of Dinophysis, and by historical data.|
|Greater than or equal to 50,000 cells/litre of Pseudo-nitzschia, and/or historical data|
Latest phytoplankton monitoring results
Phytoplankton monitoring results: 14 May 2013
Monitoring Programme for the Presence of Toxin Producing Plankton in Shellfish Production Areas in Scotland (2011)
Monitoring Programme for the Presence of Toxin Producing Plankton in Shellfish Production Areas in Scotland (2010)
Should you require any further information regarding harvesting or the interpretation of results, please contact your local authority or the Food Standards Agency Scotland for advice.
Chemical contaminants monitoring
Chemical contaminants analysis is carried out annually by the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) on behalf of the Food Standards Agency in Scotland.
Shellfish flesh samples are collected from classified harvesting areas and analysed for heavy metals, dioxins, poly-chlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Levels should not exceed those laid out in Regulation (EC) 1881/2006 as amended. In 2011, analysis was also carried out to detect the presence of organochlorine pesticides.
|Contaminant||Maximum levels (wet weight)|
|Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons||5.0 μg/kg for Benzo(a)pyrene|
|30.0 μg/kg for sum of Benzo(a)pyrene Benzanthacene, Benzo(b)fluoranthene and Chrysene|
|Dioxins and PCBs||3.5 pg/g sum of dioxins|
|6.5 pg/g sum of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs|