Clam harvesting safety tips – The Government of NU

July 20, 2017

The Department of Health would like to remind clam harvesters to be aware of areas that are optimal to harvest clams, and to follow safe food handling procedures.

Because shellfish are sensitive to the quality of the water, the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program and Health Canada recommend that you:

  • Harvest shellfish in traditional areas that are not affected by sewage or industrial runoff. Check with your local hunters and trappers organizations for the best spots to harvest.
  • Don’t harvest shellfish within 400 feet of a wharf.
  • Don’t harvest shellfish within 1,000 feet of any possible source of pollution such as sewage lagoon runoff, sewage treatment plant outfall, or other industrial runoff such as landfills.
  • Enjoy shellfish within two hours of harvesting or keep them on ice, boil, then refrigerate.
  • Keep shellfish in the fridge a maximum of three days then discard.
  • When in doubt, DON’T harvest.

Tips to keep food shellfish safe:

  • Bacteria grow quickly between 4°C and 60°C. Keep harvested shellfish at 4°C or colder.
  • If storing, place shellfish in food safe containers or bags (e.g., Ziplock) and put on the lowest shelf in the fridge.
  • Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing all food.
  • If cooking shellfish, cook to an internal temperature of 74°C. Discard any shellfish that do not open when cooked.

Media Contact:
Ron Wassink
Communications Specialist
Department of Health


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