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MDAC takes Korean oysters off shelves following FDA ruling

AROUND MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) has placed off sale several packages of frozen Korean oysters, because the product was from an unapproved source and considered to be adulterated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

MDAC’s consumer protection inspectors found the product this morning at small, Asian retail establishments in Biloxi, Hattiesburg and Ridgeland.

MDAC, which partners with FDA and USDA on food safety issues, was informed Tuesday by FDA that all fresh and frozen Korean molluscan shellfish and any product derived from Korean molluscan shellfish, i.e. breaded shellfish, were considered by the FDA to be adulterated and from an unapproved source. MDAC informed all MDAC-licensed retail establishments Tuesday that the products were considered adulterated by FDA and would be placed off sale by MDAC inspectors.

The FDA has determined that the Korean Shellfish Sanitation Program does not meet the sanitation controls spelled out under the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP). All South Korean shellfish shippers were removed from the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL) following this evaluation. Only the entities on that list can enter shellfish into interstate commerce. It is to be recognized, that canned shellfish do not fall under this designation.

The products placed off sale are Frozen ASSI brand oysters in eight-ounce, 16-ounce packages and 20-ounce packages.

Questions should be directed to MDAC’s Consumer Protection Division at (601) 359-1148.

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