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For Release:
May 16, 2011

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.
Acting Commissioner

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(609) 984-7160

Department of Health and Senior Services Proposes to Readopt with Amendments N.J.A.C. 8:13, the Rules Governing Shellfish


The Food and Drug Safety Program of the Consumer and Environmental Health Service of the Division of Epidemiology and Environmental and Occupational Health of the Public Health Services Branch of the Department of Health and Senior Services (Department) proposes to readopt with amendments N.J.A.C. 8:13, the rules governing shellfish.  The notice of proposal appears in the May 16, 2011 issue of the New Jersey Register.

The chapter establishes sanitation and recordkeeping requirements for the handling, processing, and shipping of raw molluscan shellfish, and specifies the requirements for certification of shellfish plants based on the shellfish processing and handling operations conducted.  The Department proposes to readopt N.J.A.C. 8:23 with amendments that would establish standards for oyster temperature control during handling, processing, and shipping to ensure consistency and compliance with protocols that the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference adopted in 2009.  Adherence to the protocols protects the public from foodborne illnesses that can occur from consumption of improperly handled shellfish, and ensures that New Jersey shellfish remain eligible to participate in interstate shipment and commerce.  Therefore, entities subject to the chapter generally adhere to these protocols already on a voluntary basis.

The public has until July 15, 2011, to comment on the proposal.  Persons wishing to comment on the proposal must submit their comments in writing by regular mail to Devon L. Graf, Director, Office of Legal and Regulatory Compliance, Office of the Commissioner, NJ Department of Health and Senior Services, PO Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360.  Written comments must be postmarked on or before July 15, 2011, which is the close of the 60-day public comment period.  The Department will not accept telefacsimiles or electronic mail messages as official comments on the notice of proposal.

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