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Shellfish supplementary sampling

Information about the supplementary sampling scheme for food business operators and shellfish harvesters

Last updated: 31 December 2020
See all updates
Last updated: 31 December 2020
See all updates

Shellfish harvesters can submit additional samples to be included within our official control microbiological monitoring programme for shellfish classification. These are known as ‘supplementary’ samples.

The continuing classification of a harvesting area (whether Class A, B or C) depends on a statistical analysis of sampling results. The more data we have, the less chance there is for one single result to affect the classification. More data also gives us information about seasonal variations in water quality.

The shellfish sampling data is repeatedly assessed and the more data we have, the more stable the classification can be. It also gives a better idea of any variations in water quality throughout the year.

Results from the additional sampling will be assessed in the same way as results from official control sampling. These will help to decide on the classification, opening and closing of production areas.


EU references in FSA guidance documents

The FSA is updating all EU references, to accurately reflect the law now in force, in all new or amended guidance published since the Transition Period ended at the end of 2020.  In some circumstance it may not always be practicable for us to have all EU references updated at the point we publish new or amended guidance. 

Other than in Northern Ireland, any references to EU Regulations in this guidance should be read as meaning retained EU law. You can access retained EU law via HM Government EU Exit Web Archive. This should be read alongside any EU Exit legislation that was made to ensure retained EU law operates correctly in a UK context. EU Exit legislation is on  In Northern Ireland, EU law will continue to apply in respect to the majority of food and feed hygiene and safety law, as listed in the Northern Ireland Protocol, and retained EU law will not apply to Northern Ireland in these circumstances.

The guides for supplementary sampling in England, Wales and Northern Ireland covers the application and submission process for FBOs to take part in supplementary sampling.

England and Wales

Northern Ireland