For Immediate Release - April 26, 2013

Amended Schedule: Gloucester Public Meeting Added - Public Meetings Scheduled: Vibrio Parahaemolyticus Control Plan for Oysters

Three public meetings have been scheduled to announce the 2013 Massachusetts Vibrio Parahaemolyticus (Vp) Control Plan for Oysters.  The plan will include faster cooling and delivery of oysters, changes in oyster handling for harvesters, harvester icing at landing, and additional Hazardous Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and record keeping requirements for primary buyers of oysters for all oysters harvested within the Commonwealth for commercial purposes. Implementing these controls for the upcoming summer season will require adding conditions to permits issued to harvesters and dealers. During the period May 24 through October 20, 2013, all commercial oyster harvest within Massachusetts will be affected by the Vp Control Plan.

The Vp Control Plan pdf format of    2013 Vibrio (Vp) Control Plan  file size 1MB is the result of recommendations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that Massachusetts develop a plan to control post-harvest growth of Vp bacteria in oysters during warm weather to prevent Vp related illnesses. The plan was developed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health, Food Protection Program, and the Division of Marine Fisheries in order to comply with the requirements of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.

Public Meeting Schedule
Monday, April 29, 2013 at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s Admiral’s Hall, 101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts 02532. From 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at the Annisquam River Marine Fisheries Station (DMF Gloucester), 30 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM.

Thursday, May 2, 2013 at Cape Cod Community College’s Lecture Hall A, 2240 Iyannough Road, West Barnstable, MA 02668. From 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM.

For further information regarding this meeting please contact Jared Silva (617-626-1534; jared.silva@state.ma.us)