Biotoxin Information


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Code of Practice for the Irish Shellfish Monitoring Programme (Biotoxins)

The Marine Institute (MI) is the national agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation. It operates under a service contract with the FSAI for its food safety related responsibilities. The Institute provides essential scientific advice and a range of marine environmental monitoring services to help ensure Irish seafood products meet approved safety standards. The Marine Institute is the National Reference Laboratory for the monitoring of marine biotoxins and is responsible for the analysis of both shellfish and water samples. The Institute is accredited by INAB to ISO/IEC 17025:2005. A key component of the Irish Shellfish Monitoring Programme is the Marine Institute’s HABs database ( which gives easy access to up-to-date monitoring results. The MI also produces a weekly forecasting bulletin which gives an overview on historic and current biotoxin and phytoplankton trends and also information on predictive forecasted toxin events based on oceanographic and environmental parameters, data and models

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has the statutory function of co-ordinating the enforcement of food safety legislation at national level. The principal function of the FSAI is to take all reasonable steps to ensure that food produced, distributed or marketed in the State meets the highest standards of food safety and hygiene reasonably attainable. The FSAI aims to ensure that food complies with legal requirements, or where appropriate with recognised codes of good practice. The Authority carries out its enforcement function through "service contracts" with official agencies. These contracts outline an agreed level and standard of food safety activity that the agencies perform as agents of the Authority. Both the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority and the Marine Institute have service contracts with the FSAI. The FSAI operates Industry Fora, such as the MSSC, with the aim of fostering high standards of food safety in the Irish food industry.

Code of Practice for the Microbiological Monitoring of Bivalve Mollusc Production Areas

Code of Practice for the Irish Shellfish Monitoring Programme (Biotoxins)

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) is responsible for the implementation and enforcement of National and EU legislation which deals with fisheries control and the health conditions for the production and placing on the market of fish, shellfish and fisheries products. The SFPA is the Competent Authority (CA) for the enforcement of seafood safety legislation in Ireland and operates under a service contract with the FSAI. The SFPA is responsible for food safety related controls of shellfish growing areas, transport and seafood establishments. The SFPA implements, manages and monitors the Irish Shellfish Monitoring Programme. Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers of the SFPA act as Shellfish Managers in shellfish production areas and monitor product traceability.

List of Classified Bivalve Mollusc Production Areas in Ireland

Notice to Trade on the Harvesting of Scallops

SFPA Guidance Document for Inspecting LBM Purification Centres

Enhanced Official Controls for Shellfish & Phytoplankton Sampling under the Irish Shellfish Monitoring Programme

Instructions for taking and submitting Shellfish samples for the National Shellfish Monitoring Programme (Biotoxins)