Recently it was announced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that their shellfish monitoring programme has moved away from the traditional mouse bioassay for the detection of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and lipophilic toxins in commercially harvested shellfish.
Non-animal testing, a long-term goal of the FSA and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), was finally achieved after refining and validating their High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometric tests for all shellfish species consumed in the UK.
Chief Scientist at the Food Standards Agency, Andrew Wadge, said: ‘This is a significant milestone in meeting the UK’s commitment to reduce the burden of animal testing and has been achieved after years of FSA-funded research.’
Both PSP and lipophilic toxins cause severe illness in people who consume contaminated shellfish products, therefore it is imperative any shellfish monitoring programme be sensitive enough to detect these compounds.
Further details on this feature are available from the following link to the FSA website.