NC State University / College of Veterinary Medicine


Enteric Pathogens in Molluscan Shellfish in Puerto Rico:
An Integrated Approach.

College of Veterinary Medicine and Food Safety Department, North Carolina State University
Center For Environmental Education Conservation and Research, Inter American University of Puerto Rico              

Oyster shells and lime

Oysters and clams on table



Molluscan shellfish for human consumption are harvested from coastal estuaries and sounds, many of which routinely receive effluent containing fecal waste of residential, municipal, agricultural or wildlife origin. Each year shellfish continue to be identified as vehicles of enteric pathogens. However, Puerto Rico and many countries that harvest bivalves for human consumption do not actively monitor surface waters for evidence of fecal contamination. These studies focus on the following objectives:

• Estimating the prevalence of noroviruses and other enteric pathogens in molluscan shellfish harvested in Puerto Rican waters and sold in local Puerto Rican markets.

• Assessing vendor and consumer knowledge of the risk posed by consuming raw shellfish;

• Using the collected environmental and survey data to develop appropriate outreach activities and materials for public education;

• Developing and conducting workshops to train state, and federal workers in the design, and implementation of shellfish sanitation programs; and


• Establishing a continuing education program for sustaining molluscan shellfish food safety education and training efforts.


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