Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for the detection of Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP)
The Agency has approved the replacement of the MBA for detection of lipophilic toxins, including toxins responsible for Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) with Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS).
The new method will be used to detect lipophilic toxins in 8 major species of commercial interest: common mussels (Mytilis edulis), common cockles (Cerastoderma edule), Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), native oyster (Ostrea edulis), king scallops (Pecten maximus), Queen Scallops (Aequipecten opercularis), hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria), and razor clams (Ensis spp.)
Results will be expressed in terms of micrograms lipophilic toxins eq/kg shellfish tissue (µg LT/kg shellfish tissue). The 'DSP Result' column will no longer report a 'negative/positive' for these 8 species (an exceedance of the statutory levels for any of the regulated lipophilic toxins, as specified in Regulation 853/2004 will lead to the closure of a production area.
High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) for the detection of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins
The Agency has approved the use of a chemical method, HPLC, as a quantitative assay for the testing of PSP toxins in mussels, cockles, razor clams, hard clams, minor clam species, scallops, native oysters and Pacific oysters.
The result for the PSP test continues to be reported in a similar manner to the MBA as a single figure and in terms of micrograms STX eq/kg shellfish tissue. The current maximum permitted limit of 800 micrograms STX eq/kg (80µ/100g) shellfish tissue remains unaltered.
Where the result is less than 16µg/100g the result will be noted as <RL meaning less than reporting limit. You will be aware that alert level is between 40-79µg/100g and there is no change to this practice.