The Seafood and Shellfish Project oversees a certification program which requires all wholesale shellfish dealers to handle, process, and ship shellfish under sanitary conditions and maintain records verifying that the shellfish were obtained from approved areas.
By law, each bushel of shellfish must have a tag indicating that it was harvested from approved waters and harvested by dealers certified by the Department of Health. Shellfish samples are regularly collected from harvest areas, certified shellfish dealers and retailers for bacteriological examination. Also, inspectors routinely check the shipping containers of shellfish to be sure that wholesalers are providing proper identification tags which show the source of the shellfish.
The goal of these shellfish safety programs is to help assure the consumer that the clams, oysters and mussels are harvested from areas of the state that are safe.