The updating of the ASQAP manual is urgently needed to ensure that guidance on shellfish management is up to date, sufficient to allow consistency in interpretation and risk assessment and is in line with best practice. The ASQAAC committee represents the Australian bivalve shellfish producers, the program managers from the relevant food safety jurisdictions and the national legislative agencies (Department of Agriculture and FSANZ). It is the key consultative group with regards to bivalve shellfish safety in Australia.
The PST event that occurred in Eastern Tasmania and Bass Strait over the last 24 months, and the FRDC funded review report into the PST incident has highlighted the need to get this national guidance manual updated. It is expected that an updated manual will be outcome focused and provide clear guidance that is internationally robust and meets best practice approaches. The updated ASQAP manual will provide the framework to the relevant state agencies in running their state shellfish safety programs.
The current ASQAP manual is outdated and it was clear from the FRDC PST review report that it urgently needs revision. This position has been accepted by ASQAAC.