GAA have got it wrong. Undercurrent News broadcasting perpetuates bad shrimp publicity..

Terrible piece of reporting by Undercurrent News yesterday about the AMR report out of Canada which I blog posted on four days ago

Just the title of the piece broadcasts the issue in the wrong light and gets the wrong message out.

“GAA stresses shrimp antimicrobial resistance in Canada is not a food safety issue” – this is not about antimicrobial resistance in shrimp, which is an issue with antibiotics used in culture. This is all about a report in Canada about imported shrimp from aquaculture being carriers of “superbugs” with antimicrobial resistance. Regardless of where they came from in supply chain.

GAA pushes this as a human health issue but, sorry, if the food is going to possibly give you a dangerous bug, when not properly handled or cooked, then yes it is an issue of food safety. Food safety IS a public health issue. Especially in the eye of Joe public who expect to be covered by suppliers. It opens up the case for people to dump more unfounded crap on the industry and also opens up the way for litigation.

Having taken on food safety under the BAP certification (unlike ASC where food safety is not part of the certification) one must be ready to be responsible in food safety assurance, insurance and liability on recalls.

SO – as GAA/BAP has end consumer labels and offers food safety certification it has to be ready for USA picking up on this issue highlighted in Canada. Food safety is of big concern in US retailers with recalls and litigation big business.

Of course, out of an abundance of caution (shades of recent USA stance re Boeing Max 8?), then, as I suggested in my blog, perhaps mandatory labeling on all raw shrimp entering USA regarding cooking would be a good preventative measure and insurance policy. “Wash hands after handling. Cook before eating.” It would also be a good common sense food safety protocol.

I wonder if maybe the Global Aquaculture Alliance should have just stuck to the “aquaculture” and upstream bit? While I was developing and implementing the HACCP system for shrimp back in the 1990’s it was pretty plain to see that aquaculture stopped at the processing for markets where food handling and food safety took over.

Maybe George Chamberlain would have been better not commenting immediately. What advice was taken? Were legal opinions sought? Is he a food safety expert?

Trying to fob it off and pass it off as a human health issue and that the CBC is lacking in scientific evidence is not public relations friendly.

Also comments like the following do nothing to support the industry:
“In this case, the resistant bacteria might have originated from the estuarine water used to fill the shrimp ponds”….

….oh yeah I read this and then think (blowing it out of all proportions is what media can do) yes, it is true, aquaculture experts also say shrimp are grown in cesspools full of resistant human life threatening bacteria…

So will new technologies be needed. Promotes RAS perhaps?

In the rush to respond was fuel put on the fire while maybe shooting yourself in the foot? Or maybe others in industry….

Maybe would have been better to just say, yes, we are addressing this by making sure appropriate labeling is incorporated into our standards…

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