The USA NSSP (National Shellfish Sanitation Program) Guide for the Control of Shellstock: 2013 Revision is a 438-page resource.  One of the main themes throughout this guide is maintaining proper temperature control as a CCP (Critical Control Point). For example, page 342 states “Time/Temperature Recording Devices – The time/temperature recording device must allow the receiving dealer to document that continuing cooling has occurred during transport, an essential part in minimizing the risk of vibriosis.”

There is a need for cost effective, package level, time/temperature monitoring to service the Shellstock market.  The risk associated with a single package of Shellstock can result in many people being adversely affected. The goal is safety, the reduction of illness and even death from consuming raw shellfish, all while increasing consumer confidence in this excellent source of protein. The time/temperature monitoring solution needed is Vitsab’s Freshtag™ Shell Safe Shipping System. You can validate your product was delivered under proper temperature control during the full journey.

Vitsab’s Freshtag™ Shell Safe Shipping Labels were developed with the help of USA FDA’s Shellstock Research Facility in Dauphin Island Alabama, state regulators, and industry. After receiving from FDA time/temperature predictive growth data for vibrio species, Vitsab scientists then worked with the State of Connecticut and their local shellstock farmers to validate FDA’s predictive growth data and calibrate Freshtag’s™ Shell Safe Shipping formulation. As a result of this research, Shell Safe Shipping Labels have been calibrated to change color according to the time/temperature relationship for vibrio species to double one-time. Designed to mirror vibrio growth according to the dynamic relationship between time and temperature; these cost-effective tools can monitor shell stock from harvest to plate. Freshtag’s™ Shell Safe Shipping Labels use “Stop Light” technology; the round window turns green when activated and remains green for most of its life. The window turns yellow then red if they detect a rise in temperature for a certain amount of time according to calibration. These labels are calibrated to align with NSSP temperature monitoring guidelines, change color in the time it takes for vibrio to double one time, are about the size of a postage stamp, are completely food-safe, and can be attached directly on your shellfish tag, or inside the shipping packaging.

Many companies have adopted Freshtag™ as a competitive advantage over their competition, especially since COVID. Delays in shipments have become a daily hassle for companies and their customers, now validation of proper temperature control from origin to delivery is critical. Your customers are already skeptical about quality and safety when receiving shellstock and a delay in delivery just compounds that fear. Freshtag’s™ Shell Safe Shipping exclusive “stoplight” technology provides that simple visual validation that everyone understands; so leveraging Freshtag™ has led to increased sales and reductions in shrink.

Feedback from existing customers:

  • Comparing warm months before Freshtag™ verses warm months after using Freshtag™, customers experienced a decrease in refunds and the need to replace orders
    • This reduction in shrink covered the cost of Freshtag™ plus Increases customer retention/reordering
  • Very few Shell Safe Shipping Freshtag’s™ were reported red
    • Traceback on the red ones confirmed they should have changed to red.
    • Delayed shipments plus packages left out in the heat were the top two reasons for the color change

Being a research and development company, we are not wired for sales and marketing, so we rely on our customers. They have amazing marketing and sales teams that have learned how to leverage Freshtag™ to grow their business and increase their bottom-line profits. This knowledge allows us to help you start a Freshtag™ program that will be successful from the start. Please reach out to Vitsab so we can share many examples of ongoing successful Freshtag™ Shell Safe Shipping Programs.