The Safety of Seafood Products
Our laboratory efforts in seafood safety focus on enhancing the safety of molluscan shellfish.
shellfish for human consumption are harvested from coastal estuaries
and sounds. However, each year episodes of acute gastroenteritis are
associated with the consumption of raw or poorly cooked molluscan
shellfish. These illnesses are associated with agents naturally present
in the aquatic environment (e.g. Vibrio vulnificus), agents introduced due to fecal contamination of surface waters (e.g. Salmonella
spp.) and ground water, and agents introduced during processing (e.g.
hepatitis A). Many of these illnesses can be prevented by limiting
surface water contamination with fecal pathogens from residential,
commercial and agricultural sources, careful monitoring and when
necessary closure of shellfish beds, adherence to good work-place
standards during processing and consumer education.
Our laboratory works with other university researchers and colleagues
with state and federal agencies to improve our ability to detect
pathogens in surface waters, enhance shellfish sanitation program
development and educate workers and consumers about sound food handling