FDA takes South Korean shellfish off the market
In a constituent update today to distributors, retailers, and food service operators, federal officials said shellfish from South Korea should be removed from the market. The US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) said oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops harvested from South Korea waters "may have been exposed to human fecal waste and have the potential to be contaminated with norovirus," although no US illnesses have been linked to the shellfish this year. The update said the FDA removed the shellfish from the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List following a comprehensive FDA evaluation that determined "the Korean Shellfish Sanitation Program no longer meets the sanitation controls spelled out under the National Shellfish Sanitation Program." The agency found several deficiencies in the program, including poor management of pollution sources, inadequate sanitary controls for preventing human waste from entering fish farms, and detection of norovirus in shellfish-growing areas.