Canadian Shellfish Sanitation program - Manual of Operations
Definitions

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Approved Area
The classification of a shellfish growing area which has been approved by the shellfish control authority for growing or harvesting shellfish for direct marketing. The classification of an approved area is determined through a sanitary survey conducted by the shellfish control authority in accordance with Chapter 2 of this Manual. An approved shellfish growing area may be temporarily placed in the closed status when a public health emergency, resulting from for instance, a hurricane or flooding, is declared.
Blower
A container for washing shucked shellfish which uses forced air as a means of agitation.
Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation Inc. (CALA)
A recognized ISO accrediting body.
Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program
A program to classify harvesting areas and control the commercial and recreational harvesting of molluscs and processing of product for the consumer market.
Certification Number
The number assigned by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to each certified shellfish dealer. It consists of a one to five digit number preceded by the two letter province abbreviation and followed by the two letter symbol designating the type of operation certified.
Coliform Group
The coliform group includes all of the aerobic and facultative anaerobic, Gram-negative, non spore-forming bacilli which ferment lactose with gas formation within 48 hours at 35°C.
Commingling
The act of combining different lots of shellfish or shucked shellfish.
Conditional Management Plan (CMP)
An agreement signed by relevant parties for the management of shellfish in conditionally classified areas.
Conditionally Restricted Area
The classification of a shellfish growing area which has been determined by the shellfish control authority to meet, at a minimum, the restricted classification criteria for a predictable period. The period is conditional upon established performance standards specified in a conditional management plan.
Conditionally Approved Area
The classification of a shellfish growing area which has been determined by the shellfish control authority to meet approved area criteria for a predictable period. The period is conditional upon established performance standards specified in a conditional management plan.
Container
Any bag, sack, tote, conveyance or other receptacle used for containing shellfish for holding or transporting.
Container Relaying
The transfer of shellfish from marginally contaminated areas to approved areas for natural biological cleansing in a container using the ambient environment as a treatment system.
Controlled Purification or Depuration
The process of using a controlled, aquatic environment to reduce the level of bacteria and viruses in live shellfish.
CSSP Laboratory
A laboratory performing CSSP testing for regulatory purposes that has been accredited to the international standard ISO/IEC 17025: General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories by a recognized accrediting body. The laboratory must be listed in the accrediting body's directory of accredited laboratories and have a valid scope of accreditation which includes methods specified by the CSSP.
Dealer
A commercial shellfish shipper, reshipper, shucker-packer, repacker, or depuration processor or operation.
Depuration Plant
A depuration plant is a facility of one or more depuration units. A depuration unit is a tank or series of tanks supplied by a single process water system.
Depuration Processor (DP)
A person who receives shellstock from approved areas or marginally contaminated areas and submits such shellstock to an approved controlled purification process.
Detection
The point in time at which a waste water treatment or collection system release / discharge incident (as defined in the relevant CMP) is first detected by a waste water treatment plant or collection system operator (or delegate).
Dry Storage
The storage of shellstock out of water.
Emergency Closure
A shellfish harvesting area in the open status my be placed in the closed status when it is suspected that shellfish may be contaminated as a result of an emergency situation. These emergency situations may include natural or operational events such as hurricanes, flooding, and emergency oil, toxic chemical and major sewage spills.
Extended Container Relaying
The transfer of shellfish from marginally contaminated areas to approved areas for natural biological cleansing in a container, using the ambient environment as a treatment system, for a period of 14 days or greater.
Faecal Coliform Group
The faecal coliform group includes bacteria of the coliform group which will produce gas from lactose in a suitable multiple tube procedure liquid medium (EC or A-1) within 24 ± 2 hours at 44.5 ± 0.2°C in a water bath.
Growing Area
An area which supports or could support live shellfish.
Harvest Lot
A collection of bulk shellstock or containers of shellstock from a defined growing area taken by one or more harvesters and removed from the water for delivery to the processing plant on the same day. Where the amplitude of the tide does not allow harvesting except during a low-running (spring) tide, the product can be wet stored on the beach for a maximum of two weeks and taken to the processing plant as a lot.
Harvester
A person who takes shellfish, by any means, from a growing area.
Harvesting record
Is an official record identifying where, when, and the quantity of shellfish that was harvested by a harvester.
Heat Shock
The process of subjecting shellstock to any form of heat treatment, such as steam, hot water or dry heat for a short period of time prior to shucking to facilitate removal of the meat from the shell without substantially altering the physical or organoleptic characteristics of the shellfish.
Integrated Multi-trophic Aquaculture (IMTA)
The raising of shellfish and finfish within a 125 metre radius of one another in the marine environment.
ISO/IEC 17025:2005
An internationally recognized standard describing the General Requirements for the Competence of testing and Calibration Laboratories jointly developed by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). (See also definitions for SCC and CALA)
Lease
A defined geographic area in a marine environment described by a federal or provincial agency and approved by the Competent Authority (Shellfish Control Agency or provincial equivalent) for the purposes of culturing, harvesting and/or relaying (exploratory or commercial) of bivalve molluscs. This definition includes all tenures, licenses of occupation or license issued under MCFR to an individual, group or company by the Competent Authority.
Lot of Shellstock
A collection of bulk shellstock or containers of shellstock of no more than one day's harvest from a single defined growing area by one or more harvesters.
Lot of Shellstock for Depuration
Shellstock harvested from an area at a particular time and delivered to one depuration plant.
Lot of Shucked Shellfish
A collection of containers of no more than one day's shucked shellfish product produced under conditions as nearly uniform as possible and designated by a common container code or marking.
Marginally Contaminated Area
A classified area from which shellfish may be harvested for controlled purification and /or relay. Some examples include conditionally approved (in closed status), restricted and conditionally restricted.
Marine Biotoxins
Poisonous compounds accumulated by shellfish feeding upon toxin containing dinoflagellates, such as Alexandrium (formerly Gonyaulax and Protogonyaulax) cantenella, A. fundyense, A. tamarensis, and Ptychodiscus brevis, or marine diatoms such as Pseudo-Nitzchia species (formerly Nitzschia pungens).
Master Harvester
A person employed, or assigned, by a federally registered shellfish establishment, to carry out specific monitoring duties at approved or conditionally approved shellfish areas in the open status and maintain records for the establishment, as described in the Quality Management Program.
Most Probable Number (MPN)
The MPN is a statistical estimate of the number of bacteria per unit volume and is determined from the number of positive results in a series of fermentation tubes.
National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP)
The cooperative United States, State-Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-Industry program, for certification of interstate shellfish shippers as described in the NSSP Manual of Operations, Parts I and II. Foreign governments may be members by having a current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or agreement with the FDA.
Natural Relaying
The transfer of shellfish from marginally contaminated areas to approved areas for natural biological cleansing, using the ambient environment as a treatment system for periods of 14 days or greater.
Notification
The point in time at which one of the federal CSSP partners receives notice from a waste water treatment or collection system operator (or delegate) of a release / discharge incident (as defined in the relevant CMP).
Poisonous or Deleterious Substance
A toxic compound occurring naturally or added to the environment that may be found in shellfish for which a regulatory tolerance limit or action level has been established or may be established to protect public health. Examples of naturally occurring substances would be paralytic shellfish toxins and trace elements, such as mercury, geologically leached from the environment. Examples of added substances would be agricultural pesticides and polynuclear aromatics from oil spills.
Process Batch
A quantity of shellstock used to fill each separate tank, or series of tanks, supplied by a single process water system for a specified depuration cycle in a depuration activity.
Prohibited Area
The classification of a shellfish growing area determined by the shellfish control authority where shellfish harvesting for food purposes is not permitted.
Quality Management Program (QMP)
A fish inspection and control system, that includes procedures, inspections and records, for the purpose of verifying and documenting the processing of fish and the safety and quality of fish processed in, exported from or imported into Canada.
Recognized Non-GoC Sampler
An individual or company employee who is not a Government of Canada CSSP employee (e.g. contractor, volunteer, employee from other government departments, indigenous peoples, individual grower, etc.), who has been deemed competent by the CSSP shellfish control authority to collect marine water and/or shellstock samples according to prescribed CSSP sampling procedures.
Regional Interdepartmental Shellfish Committee (RISC)
The committee established under the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program (CSSP), composed of area/regional Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Environment Canada (EC), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) staff to, manage, prioritize, and coordinate CSSP activities. RISCs provide input, advice and financial decisions on the classification of shellfish growing areas and on the management of microbiological, chemical and/or biotoxin contamination.
Relaying
The transfer of shellfish from marginally contaminated areas to approved areas for natural biological cleansing using the ambient environment as a treatment system.
Remote Shellfish Area
A shellfish growing area that has no human habitation and is not impacted by any actual or potential pollution sources.
Repacker (RP)
A person other than the original certified shucker-packer who repacks shucked shellfish into other containers. A repacker may also repack and ship shellstock. A repacker shall not shuck shellfish.
Reshipper (RS)
A person who purchases shucked shellfish or shellstock from other certified shippers and sells the product without repacking or relabelling to other shippers, wholesalers or retailers.
Response
A series of actions taken by the federal shellfish control authorities as defined in the relevant CMP based on the classification of the area which will serve to ensure that product does not reach market and that the implicated area is placed in closed status.
Response Line
The boundary at which the sewage effluent plume is predicted to lie during a waste water treatment plant or collection system release/ discharge incident when the competent shellfish control authority will respond.
Restricted AreaFootnote 1
The classification of a shellfish growing area determined by the shellfish control authority where shellfish shall not be harvested for direct consumption.
Sanitary Survey
The evaluation of all actual and potential pollution sources and environmental factors having a bearing on shellfish growing area water quality.
Sanitize
The treatment to adequately treat food-contact surfaces by a process that is effective in destroying vegetative cells of microorganisms of public health significance and in substantially reducing the number of other undesirable microorganisms, but without adversely affecting the product or its safety for the consumer.
Standards Council of Canada (SCC)
A recognized ISO accrediting body.
Scheduled Heat Shock Process
The process selected by the processor and approved by the shellfish control agency to heat shock a shellfish species in order to facilitate shucking without adversely affecting the microbial quality or altering the organoleptic characteristics of the species.
Seed
A submarket size bivalve shellfish requiring a minimum of 6 months to reach market size under normal growing conditions, that has been gathered from a lease site or directly from the wild, or grown in a hatchery, and transplanted or relayed to a private lease site or public shellfish bed for grow-out.
Shellfish
All edible species of oysters, clams, mussels and scallops (except for the adductor muscle) either shucked, in the shell, fresh or fresh frozen or whole or in part. For the purposes of marine biotoxin control predatory gastropod molluscs shall also be included.
Shellstock
Shellfish in the shell.
Shellfish Control Agency / Authority
The department or agencies of the Government of Canada that are signatories to the Interdepartmental Memorandum of Understanding which is found in Appendix V of this manual.
Shellstock Shipper (SS)
A person who grows, harvests, buys, or repacks and sells shellstock. They are not authorised to shuck shellfish nor to repack shucked shellfish. A shellstock shipper may also ship shucked shellfish.
Short-term Container Relaying
The transfer of shellfish from marginally contaminated areas to approved areas for natural biological cleansing in a container using the ambient environment as a treatment system for periods of less than 14 days.
Shucked Shellfish
Shellfish, whole or in part, from which one or both shells have been removed.
Shucker Packer (SP)
A person who shucks and packs shellfish. A shucker packer may act as a shellstock shipper or may repack shellfish originating from other certified dealers.
Spat
Newly settled spawn of bivalve shellfish that has been cultivated in a laboratory or hatchery or collected from the wild using a variety of techniques (e.g., monofilament lines, cement-coated collectors, etc.).
Spring Tide
A tide of increased range that occurs twice monthly at the new and full phases of the moon.
Status
Describes whether shellfish harvest is permitted and is independent of the classification of the areaFootnote 2
  • Open - Any classified area where shellfish harvest is authorized.
  • Closed - Any classified area where shellfish harvest is not authorized.
    There may be circumstances under which areas in closed status can be harvested for depuration or relay provided they meet the requirements for such.
Transaction Record
A form(s) used to document each purchase or sale of shellfish at the wholesale level.
Turbidity
Reduced water clarity resulting from the presence of suspended matter.
Wet Storage
The temporary storage (less than 60 days) of "live" shellfish from approved sources, intended for marketing, in containers or floats in natural bodies of "seawater" or in tanks containing natural or synthetic seawater.
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