Scottish and Irish suppliers of hand-dived scallops, used in fine dining restaurants across the country, are at risk of going out of business because of draconian EU regulations. The rules, which were reinforced last year, have taken their toll on suppliers as they prevent them from selling scallops whole, still alive in their shell, at a higher price than the shucked meat.
Under the legislation, scallops must be tested for the presence of algal toxins, which if present above a certain level can cause food poisoning. The current limit for scallop meat as set by the EU is 20 micrograms per gram. The problem is that this level is applied not just to scallop meat but also to whole shell scallops, requiring them to be mixed up in their entirety before testing, including guts, which, unlike oysters or mussels, are removed before cooking.
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