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    Shellfish means all species of oysters, clams, & mussels (in the shell or shucked) and whole or roe-on scallops.

    The Maryland Department of Health, Center for Food Processing shellfish program operates under the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP). This is the federal/state cooperative program recognized by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) for the sanitary control of shellfish produced and sold for human consumption. The purpose of the NSSP is to promote and improve the sanitation of shellfish moving in interstate commerce through federal/state cooperation and uniformity of State shellfish programs. 

    Except for a licensed harvester delivering the harvester's catch to an MDH certified dealer on the day of harvest, a person may not offer shellfish for sale in-State or interstate unless the person is licensed and certified by the Maryland Department of Health.  This does not include facilities licensed under COMAR 10.15.03 to operate as a retail food service facility, such as a restaurant or retail market, which can only purchase shellfish from certified shellfish dealers listed on the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL)​.

    For more information on becoming a certified shellfish dealer or upcoming HACCP training, please contact a Maryland State Shellfish Standardization Officer:  

    Kim Coulbourne: (443) 690-3106 or Amy Hontz: (443) 799-9809

    ​this page last updated 11.19.2021