Seafood & Shellfish Safety
Food and Drug Branch
Manufacturers and distributors of general seafood products (except molluscan shellfish) must obtain a Processed Food Registration from FDB. Seafood processors are regulated by California statutes and federal regulations for Good Manufacturing Practices and Seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).
Molluscan shellfish are regulated under specific requirements of California law. “Shellfish” includes raw oysters, clams, mussels and whole scallops, in the fresh or frozen state. Firms that process and handle shellfish must obtain a Shellfish Handling and Marketing Certificate. This includes businesses involved in the distribution of shellfish, but do not store the product at their facility. The Shellfish Handling and Marketing Certificate is required even if your firm has a Processed Food Registration (PFR). The Certificate authorizes dealers to engage in specific activities such as shucking, repacking and reshipping, and contains a unique number for each facility. The certificate number is placed on all shellfish tags and labels to indicate that the product has come from a certified or legal facility.
A Processed Food Registration is not needed if your firm’s only product is raw, fresh or frozen, bivalve shellfish products. Currently, there is no fee for this Certificate.
Crustaceans such as, crab, lobster, crayfish, and shrimp, commonly referred to as “shellfish”, and cooked or breaded bivalve shellfish are regulated under the Processed Food Registation program.
Shellfish processors are regulated by California and federal provisions of statute and regulations. Shellfish dealers shipping products into interstate commerce are required to meet the requirements of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) and must be certified for listing in the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL).