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Recensione del progetto CTI
È stata pubblicata una recensione del progetto CTI sulla tutela della salubrità dei molluschi bivalvi e sulla sanità delle acque sulla rivista di FARNET rete europea dei FLAG.
FLAG water quality initiative protects Italian mollusc producers and consumers
Friuli Venezia Giulia FLAG (IT) has been working on a large-scale water quality project covering the entire region, protecting producers and consumers of molluscs. Molluscs are particularly susceptible to certain toxins caused by microalgae. Making sure the ones affected by harmful toxins don’t get into the food chain – through contaminated clams, oysters, mussels and scallops – was previously a complicated process. The test methods being used produced results too late for retailing these foods, meaning that if a contamination was detected, the products had to be withdrawn from the market. The situation came to a head in 2010, after a batch of infected molluscs escaped from a control mesh. This led to one case of a consumer suffering food poisoning. Losing the public’s trust and having to pause production for a long time, meant a big loss of income for the industry.
Following the incident, the public administration and the fishermen developed a protocol with rules to implement a better system for monitoring the water quality. The FLAG supported the initiative by bringing together all the operators and representatives of the sector and helping people to apply the rules correctly. The project aims to ensure the highest level of food safety for bivalve molluscs caught and bred, through control actions and communication with operators and consumers.
The crux of the project is a “Technical Information Centre” to track the healthiness of the water and lagoon environment. Amongst the functions of the Centre are helping to organize the analysis of water samples; managing an analysis database; deciding and communicating where not to fish or sell products; and keeping operators and consumers updated. The water samples are also used for environmental monitoring of the area and developing water quality maps, which become a useful tool for the local tourism operators.