As of January 2014, the National Sanitation Shellfish Program’s (NSSP) Model Ordinance was modified to include new food safety training requirements. These changes initiated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are outlined in NSSP Guide Section II, Model Ordinance Chapter X. Under the new mandate, shellfish harvesters, shellfish growers, authorized users, or anyone working on an aquaculture lease must participate in an approved training program on processing, handling, and transportation practices prior to certification, recertification, or licensing. Aquaculture certificates (“AQ card”) for shellfish harvesting will NOT be issued without proof of training. Holders of Saltwater Products Licenses (SPL) will not need proof of training this year (2014-15) to renew their licenses, but a copy of the training certificate must be on the boat during harvest.
To meet the new harvester education training requirements, workshops have been held across the state during the months of May and June. If you missed one of these workshops and need to view the Harvester Education video, contact Kim Norgren, FDACS Division of Aquaculture (phone: 850-617-7619, email: Kimberly.Norgren@freshfromflorida.com). Also you can schedule an appointment to watch the training video at the Marine Lab in Cedar Key by contacting Leslie Sturmer (phone: 352-543-5057, email: LNST@ufl.edu) or Judy Johnson (phone: 352-543-1084, email: Judith.Johnson@freshfromflorida.com).