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Three States, Georgia, South Carolina, and Mississippi, indicated they used New York City and Maryland bacteriological standards. California indicated they had a reciprocal agreement with New York City on crabmeat shipments, but had not shipped any meat for two years. As a matter of interest, New York City bacteriological standards applies to all imports, and are presented below:

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Three States, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, indicated that they published a certified list of crabmeat dealers by which means New York City was kept advised of State certified plants.

Maryland was the only State which had time and temperature specifications for pasteurization of crabmeat. These are quoted below:

The minimum pasteurization specifications shall be
the holding of the internal temperature of the can
of crabmeat at 170°F. for at least one minute. This
may be accomplished in approved equipment by means
of a process providing the thermal equivalent of
continually retaining 307x409 (No. 2) cans of crabmeat
in a circulating water bath at a temperature of 175°F.
for 115 minutes or 211x400 (No. 1) cans at 175°F. for
90 minutes.

When querried as to whether the State would support a certification program on crabmeat, only 7 States indicated they would support such a program, unequivocally. These were Alabama, South Carolina, Alaska, Oregon, Massachusetts, Louisiana and Florida. Three States (Hawaii, Georgia, and Mississippi) indicated "yes, if needed," but further indicated it was not needed at the present time. Three other States indicated they "probably would support a certification program. One State indicated they would need a meeting with their crabmeat industry to determine an answer to the question. Another State indicated they would have no objection to such a program. One State said "no," unequivocally. Another indicated a certification program on crabmeat was not needed for their State. The remaining 9 States either did not answer the question or indicated they were in favor of a certification program only for scallops.

None of the 24 States indicated any major problem existed with regard to imports or exports. Several indicated that at one time or another they had minor difficulties with exports to New York City, but that these difficulties had been resolved without undue hardship.

The principal crabmeat producing States are Alaska, Florida, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, Oregon, North Carolina, and California. Each of the above States have 10 or more crabmeat picking plants, while Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Massachusetts, Louisiana, and Texas, have currently less than 10 plants.


In view of the above, limited information, there does not appear to be sufficient public health justification or necessity for operation of a voluntary cooperative program on certification of crabmeat ipped interstate at this time. The States which are major shippers appear to have adequate laws or regulations and adequate sanitation programs covering the product. Since only 7 States indicated unequivocal support for such a program, it is doubtful that a great deal of sustained State support for certification could be realized. Due to the lack of specific public health problems delineated on crabmeat, it is anticipated that the Public Health Service would have difficulty in justifying such a program and that the State would have similar problems in securing funds for operation of the program from their State legislatures.

It is therefore recommended that the Conference of State Sanitary Engineers table the subject of a certification program for crabmeat. However, the Shellfish Sanitation Branch is not adverse to preparing Sanitary Recommendations for Crabmeat Picking Plants if the Joint Committee on Marine Foods feels it would be desirable to have such uniform standards available for voluntary adoption as the States may see fit. This latter suggestion may be worthy of consideration by the Joint Committee as several States have active programs and the need for uniformity in our opinion is evident; particularly in regard to pasteurization and bacteriological standards.


Limited information was obtained from 24 coastal States as to what type of sanitation program they had for the harvesting, processing, and handling of scallops. Their views were solicited as to whether they felt the need for a National sanitation program and whether they would cooperate in such a program if it were established. The States from whom information was obtained are listed below:

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of the above 24 States, 16 had no specific sanitation law or regulations directed toward the handling or processing of scallops (does not include conservation measures). Five States included scallops in their definition of 'shellfish''; hence, were deemed to have specific regulations. One State, Massachusetts, had specific separate sanitary regulations covering the harvesting, shucking, and handling of both the bay scallop and the sea scallop.

The above is not intended to suggest that the 16 other States need comprehensive legislation on scallops. For example, of these 16 States, 12 reported that they had no scallop industry or scallop shucking plants; hence, they would not have need for sanitation regulations that the producing States would have. Some measure of control is extended over scallops; however, through the States pure food laws (examples, Maine Food Law and Oregon Pure Food Act) even though they may have little or no scallop industry.

The principal scallop producing States are Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina. Of these, Massachusetts had specific regulations covering both bay and sea scallops while Florida, New Jersey, and New York include

scallops in their definition of shellfish. North Carolina indicated that if scallops were included in a certification program virtually all of their 15 to 20 plants would require some kind of major reconstruction.

On the question as to whether the 24 States would support a certification program only 5 reported ''yes," unequivocally. The remainder expressed doubts as to the need of such a program or indicated they would support it if the need could be demonstrated.

In regard to the question as to whether there were any problems in regard to importation of scallops from other states, only three states indicated any problems existed. These three States were among the five who indicated unequivocal support for a certification program and indicated they wanted the assurance a certification program could provide as to the sanitary quality of imports from other states.


On the basis of the above, limited information, it does not appear necessary that a separate certification program for scallops is advisable or is necessary at this time to protect the health of the public. It should be borne in mind that the viscera of the scallop is discarded in the shucking process with only the meat or muscle being eaten, and that very few, if any, scallops are consumed raw. When it is considered that 4 of the 5 principal State producers of scallops have programs which are effective, it is unlikely that little concrete improvement could be gained from a separate or additional sanitation program for scallops.

A further question naturally arises as to whether scallops could not be included in the definition of 'shellfish" as contained in the PHS Shellfish Sanitation Manual. It was included in the original 1925 Report of Committee on Sanitary Control of the Shellfish Industry, but was not included in the Manual requirements after 1937 probably because the viscera is discarded in the shucking process and the meat is not consumed raw. Five States include scallops in their definition of shellfish at the present time; hence, they would have no problem. This would probably leave Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, and North Carolina, with the problem of seeking authority from their legislation to include scallops in the current shellfish certification program.

From the viewpoint of the Public Health Service, we would have no objection to including scallops again in our definition of shellfish. Before doing so, however, We would have to discuss it at regional meetings with the States and present it to the National Shellfish Sanitation Workshop for ratification by the States and the industry as we do with all changes in the recommended Manual. In so doing we probably would want to waive the present Manual requirements that a separate shucking room apart from the packing room be provided and the coliform MPN requirements for growing water be waived.

It would therefore be our suggestion to the Conference of State Sanitary Engineers that they recommend the PHS take up the matter of including scallops in the present Shellfish Sanitation Voluntary cooperative Program for the Certification of Interstate Shellfish Shippers with the individual States and with the National Shellfish Sanitation Workshop. It would thus be understood that if the National Shellfish Sanitation Workshop agreed with or endorsed the proposal, the PHS Manual would be changed to include scallops, and if the Workshop did not endorse the proposal, the matter would then be dropped.




C. S.

Division of Food Control
Maryland State Department of Health

Baltimore, Maryland

It has been approximately two and one-half years since I walked into Eugene T. Jensen's office and was asked by Mr. Jensen what would Maryland do if non-certified oysters imported into this country would be shipped into our State. My reply was the question, are they raw or cooked? He indicated they were raw and frozen into a cylindrical form. My answer to his statement was, ''we will seize them." His reply was to the effect we had better get prepared because some were slated to be shipped into Maryland.

After being briefed on the import story, I concluded it was the duty of the United States Public Health Service to control the importation of raw frozen oysters and asked what is the Public Health Service going to do about them.

I was shocked when Mr. Jensen informed me that, although they would like to keep them out, they had no control over imported shellfish that were not entering under the U.S.P.H.S. certification program. I learned it was the duty of the Food and Drug Administration to sample imported oysters unless they came in under the U.S.P.H.S. certification program.

My next visit was to the Food and Drug Administration and they informed me their laws only provided for an objective examination. I was told several seizures had been made at the Texas border, but some shipments had passed the objective examination. Food and Drug records showed they sampled approximately 1% of the foods entering the United States.

It seemed strange to me that raw frozen oysters could be imported into the United States without any knowledge of the condition of the waters in which they were grown, how they were handled during harvesting, packing and shipment to market, yet all raw frozen oysters grown, harvested, packed in the United States and transported for interstate sale had to be certified under the U.S.P.H.S. shellfish program. The only consolation I could get out of either the PHS or the FDA was-they were going to get together for a conference to see what could be done about the situation.

when I received no help from Federal authorities in keeping these imports out, my next step was to go to that segment of industry which had planned to import the oysters. After a series of conferences where all aspects of the situation were we i ghed, I was informed any oysters that were not good enough for sale in Maryland, the company in question would consider them as unfit for sale in any of their stores would do likewise. However, this was no guarantee that all chain stores would do likewise. I mention this incident to bring out one important point. If regulatory agencies will cooperate closely with all segments of the food industry in keeping them informed of the quality of food they are processing and or selling, you will find the vast majority will reciprocate whether it means detaining or seizing some of their foods or receiving the go ahead signal for sale. It is my contention, the closer you cooperate with industry as a whole, the higher will be the quality of products reaching the consuming public.

Now, lets get back to the non-certified frozen oysters. The word soon got out that Maryland would seize any imported shellfish that were not under PHS certification. Our next step was to call States adjoining Maryland to warn them of the situation. This was done and through the grapevine we learned of a shipment of oysters destined for an adjoining State. It arrived, but before seizure could be made, it was transhipped to another State. We informed the regulatory authorities in that State and the frozen oysters were detained.

Here again, I wish to mention cooperation. This time it was between States. Regardless of what phase of work regulatory agencies are carrying out, there must be close cooperation between your counter-parts in surrounding States if you are going to adequately protect the consuming public and the segment of industry that is operating on a legitimate basis.

I want to raise another question concerning the ability of food and Drug or Public Health Service to keep out oysters. All of you know there is a standard for oysters. Suppose someone added monosodium glutamate and other seasoning to oysters and tried to get them into our country by calling them oyster stew mixtures. Could either of these agencies use our regular oyster standards to evaluate the product? I doubt it because technically they would not be oysters, but a product containing oysters. They would have to come under Food and Drugs objective examination, but that does not help us if we want them evaluated according to the PHS shellfish certification program.

It is imperative for a State receiving foods such as shellfish to possess information relative to the growing area, harvesting practices, in-plant protocol inclusive of sanitation, in-transit handling, etc. Such information may be of great assistance to State regulatory officials in determining the wholesomeness of the product and its possible effect on the public health.

Laboratory analyses at the point of entry or destination may provide some insight regarding the quality of the shellfish, but at times such information may be of little or no use and in some cases can actually be misleading without background knowledge of the product. While microbial indices have been of great help to health officials concerned with the shellfish industry, proponents of bacterial indices will readily agree that the results obtained may not detect health hazards of viral or toxic origin. It is well known that the production of enterotoxin in certain foods by toxigenic strains of staphylococci would more than likely be missed by ordinary laboratory examinations, since special and timeconsuming procedures would be required to establish the presence or absence of toxin. This toxin, you will recall, can withstand boiling as well as freezing so that low microbial indices give no indication of this potential public health hazard in a given product. Likewise, most if not all food outbreaks of infectious hepatitis have been traced more by epidemiological means rather than by actual isolation of the hepatitis virus from the suspected shellfish.

Except in purposely fermented foods such as cheese, pickles, wines, etc., the changes occurring from the multiplication of micro-organisms almost always adversely affects the quality of a food. Enzymes produced as a result of microbial growth may trigger chemical reactions in foods such as shellfish and cause these reactions to occur many thousandfold times faster. Reactions such as these are mainly responsible for such things as undesirable flavors, odors, shorter shelf-life, etc. The practice of good sanitation depends upon holding microbial organisms and their growth to a minimum to prevent these undesirable reactions. It is important to remember that processes destroying micro-organ i sms do not necessarily destroy their enzymes. Enzymes may survive heat and other processes destructive to bacteria and may be active in wide temperature ranges - even at 32°F. or below.

Food examination at the receiving State is one more link in the chain of evaluating a food for quality control and protection to the consuming public. Knowing that shellfish evaluation through the Public Health Service shellfish program is the most practical method of assuring safe products for the consuming public is one thing, but how to accomplish it under the present circumstances is something else.

I am sure there is more than one way to control the situation, but I shall only discuss the one Maryland has used.

Through the cooperation of our State legislature, the following law was passed last winter:

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