David Attwood, Aquaculture Director, Loch Fyne Oysters
UK Oysters – Norovirus – FSA media report misleading Part 1
View from Loch Fyne
Hmm… interesting, did anyone hear or see yesterday’s media report that stated that 3 out of every 4 of the UK’s oysters contain norovirus? I did and nearly put the car off the road on the way to work!
The Food Standards Agency report was misleading in 3 ways:
- This research that was carried out was based on oysters growing in the sea and not those put on the market for sale
- It stated that there is currently no testing method available – This is wrong, there are two laboratories in the UK, one CEFAS in Weymouth and a second private laboratory in Scotland – both of these laboratories offer a commercial norovirus testing service that is available to oyster farmers
- It indicated that there are no safe levels established for the level of norovirus – We disagree – We have been operating a successful oyster surveillance program for the last 3 years that monitors norovirus and is based on safety limits – this was developed in conjunction with our local Environmental Health Officers and CEFAS – The FSA are aware of this information
I could go on but the tide is now dropping so it’s on with the waders and off to the shore to turns some bags of oysters and quietly reflect on yesterdays events.
David Attwood – Oyster farmer – Loch Fyne Oysters Limited
Loch Fyne Oysters currently supplies 1.6 million oysters a year to our customers across the world