Canadian Shellfish Sanitation program - Manual of Operations
Chapter 7 - Shellstock Shipping and Labelling

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A shellstock shipper may buy and sell shellstock from a harvester or other certified dealer, may reship shellstock or shucked shellfish, and may relabel and repackage shellstock. A shellstock shipper may not shuck, relabel, or repack shucked shellfish. Facilities certified as shucker-packers and repackers may also ship shellfish under their shucker-packer (SP) or repacker (RP) certification number.

Each registered facility must consider, and where applicable, incorporate the following components in the development and implementation of their Quality Management Program.

7.1 Shellstock Identification, Harvesting and Handling

All shellstock shall originate from an approved source. It shall be harvested, handled and identified in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 4 of this manual.

7.2 Shellstock Storage, Shipping, and Record Keeping

a) Conveyances used to transport shellstock shall be constructed, maintained and cleaned in accordance with the requirements of Schedule V of the Fish Inspection Regulations (FIR). Shellstock shall be transported in adequately refrigerated vehicles when the shellstock have been previously refrigerated or when ambient temperatures are such that unacceptable bacterial growth or deterioration may occur.

All shellstock shipments destined for the United States (with shipping times exceeding 4 hours duration) must be made in mechanically refrigerated vehicles maintained at or below 7.2°C. A suitable time-temperature recording device shall accompany each shipment. When shipments to the U.S. are 4 hours or less in duration, shellstock and shucked shellfish products may be shipped in well-iced containers and no thermal recorder is needed.

b) Buildings in which shellstock are held or repacked shall comply with the appropriate requirements of Schedules I and II of the FIR and shall be federally registered.

c) Shellstock in storage shall be protected from contamination and maintained at temperatures between -1°C and 4°C.

d) All equipment and conveyances which come into contact with shellstock shall be maintained and cleaned in accordance with the requirements of each registered facility's documented sanitation program.

e) Ice used for shellstock refrigeration shall be manufactured, stored and handled in accordance with Section 14(7) and (8) of Schedule I of the FIR.

f) Shellstock shall be identified in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 4 (section 4.4) of this manual, and delivery/shipping records must be maintained in accordance with the requirements of Section 15(10)(d) of the FIR.

g) Sacks, boxes, and other shellstock packing containers shall be new, clean and fabricated from approved materials. Packaging materials used for direct contact with shellstock shall be those contained in the Reference Listing of Accepted Construction Materials, Packaging Materials and Non-Food Chemical Products published by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Materials such as seaweed and newspaper are not permitted.

7.3 Labelling Shellstock

1) Non Retail Packages for Sale in Canada

a) A durable, waterproof tag or label shall be securely affixed to each container. The tag or label shall contain the following information in English or French and in a legible and indelible form:

  1. the date of processing;
  2. the most precise description of the location the shellfish were harvested from as is practical (e.g., NB16 Bar Road, BC18-4 Swanson Channel, QC Baie Laval N-4.1.2, etc.);
  3. the registration number of the processor and the name and address of the person by whom or for whom the fish is processed or by whom it is distributed;
  4. the type and quantity of shellfish. If this information is preprinted on the bag or box and is accurate, this information does not have to be repeated on the tag;
  5. if the shellstock are depurated then the tag or label shall include the depuration cycle code; and
  6. shellstock that has been relayed or wet stored shall be labelled:
    1. if wet stored for less than 14 days, the harvest area is the original harvest area prior to wet storage;
    2. if wet stored nearshore or onshore in an untreated flow thorough system for 14 days or greater, the harvest area is the wet storage site;
    3. if relayed the harvest area is the relay site.

2) Retail Packages for Sale in Canada

a) A durable, waterproof tag or label shall be securely affixed to each container. The tag or label shall contain the following information in English and French and in a legible and indelible form:

  1. the date of processing
  2. a "best before" date or date of harvest and the statement "Keep refrigerated". The best before date must be indicated in the manner demonstrated in section B.01.007(4)(d) and (5) of the Food and Drug Regulations: "the day of the month shall be shown after the month and shall be expressed in numbers". The use of the Julian calendar is unacceptable;
  3. the most precise description of the location the shellfish were harvested from as is practical (e.g., NB16 Bar Road, BC18-4 Swanson Channel QC Baie Laval N-4.1.2 etc.);
  4. the registration number of the processor and the name and address of the person by whom or for whom the fish is processed or by whom it is distributed;
  5. the type and quantity of shellfish;
  6. if the shellstock are depurated then the tag or label shall include the depuration cycle code; and
  7. shellstock that has been relayed or wet stored shall be labelled:
    1. if wet stored for less than 14 days, the harvest area is the original harvest area prior to wet storage;
    2. if wet stored nearshore or onshore in an untreated flow thorough system for 14 days or greater, the harvest area is the wet storage site;
    3. if relayed the harvest area is the relay site.

3) Export to the United States

Consult the United States Food and Drug Administration's National Shellfish Sanitation Program Guide for the Control of Molluscan Shellfish.

4) Export to other countries

Consult the labelling requirements for the importing country.

7.4 Commingling policy

a) Shipping containers should be filled with product which represents the same harvest lot (same harvest location/day removed from water); however, if desired to fill the last container of a lot, it is permissible to mix 2 lots if the product is identified as such and appropriate records kept.

b) In the event of product recall, all product from a commingled lot will be recalled.

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