The world is our oyster – shellfish safety in Sydney

I got to deliver an opening keynote chat at the 9th International Conference on Molluscan Shellfish Safety in Sydney yesterday, with my usual refrain about how the best producers should be marketing their safety investments directly to consumers and retailers.

The crowd was an eclectic group of 200 producers, scientists, policy types and retailers from 30 countries, several of whom approached me and said, I sydney.rock.oysterread barfblog; they don’t say, “you look younger than I expected” anymore.

And after she officially opened the conference I got to stalk chat with New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, about restaurant inspection disclosure in the state, including the Name and Shame website, and the voluntary posting of Scores on Doors, and whether the postings should become mandatory.

The NSW oyster industry is the State’s largest fishery by value employing more than 1500 people directly, and is primarily in regional areas contributing greatly to those economies.

“The NSW Government is a strong supporter of the State’s shellfish industry, through the provision of research and support services, by protecting water quality and by overseeing industry food safety programs,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“We have a robust food safety management program for shellfish in place that has been in operation since 2000.

“As a result the shellfish industry in NSW has a good safety record,” Ms Hodgkinson said.