NRCS to regulate live perlemoen

2011-03-24 22:22

Johannesburg - The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) will formally regulate live perlemoen as a food instead of the existing self-regulation by industry players, it said on Thursday.

Perlemoen had received the second highest hazard rating on the scale used for food products, said spokesperson Mirriam Moswaane.

"...[It] therefore poses a public health threat due to biotoxins and other various environmental contaminants that might lead to serious illness or even death", she said.

Moswaane said the NRCS would now be responsible for the monitoring and testing of the product to "minimise the risks of transferring dangerous micro-organisms from abalone to consumers".

"Risks which cause abalone [perlemoen] to become toxic to humans include red tide, contamination with marine biotoxins and shellfish poisoning."

She said food producers putting dangerous products on the international market could damage the entire perlemoen industry.

"Evidence supplied to the market about the strict routine sampling and analyses of the product and the sea water medium in which they grow, will see an increase in trade."