AST Shellfish testing gains extended accreditation
The AST Biotoxin unit has recently gained NATA accreditation for PST testing using the “Boundy Method" for all shellfish types, including oysters, mussels, pipis, scallops, abalone, sea urchin roe, and rock lobster. It is expected that we will replace the existing “Lawrence" method once approvals are in place from the relevant regulatory bodies.
The Boundy method offers a number of improvements over the current Lawrence method. Primarily, the method produces “final" results from a single test, eliminating the need to do a follow-up “confirmation" test of potentially high results. Increased throughput in the laboratory is also achievable due to the decreased sample preparation requirements.
The method recently underwent an international inter-laboratory trial, published in the Journal of AOAC (freely available here). The AST Biotoxin unit was very proud of the fact that we were the only Australian participant in the trial and that we provided a major improvement that increases instrumental robustness that is now acknowledged as part of the official method.
From a grower, client, or regulator perspective, little will change - sample requirements remain the same (250mL polycarbonate container with yellow label) and reports and SMSs will continue to be sent. There will be a slight change to the PDF reports as the PST testing will no longer be separated into “screen" and “confirmation" components.
Please see our Shellfish testing page for further information about our biotoxin testing services, or contact us if you would like more information on the implementation of the Boundy method at AST.