WAC 246-282 Sanitary Control of Shellfish Rule Revision

What's Happening?

State Board of Health Rulemaking – Permanent Amendments to Chapter 246-282 WAC, Sanitary Control of Shellfish

On February 23, 2022, the Board initiated rulemaking to update chapter 246-282 WAC, Sanitary Control of Shellfish. This rulemaking will consider permanent updates to the rules including to WAC 246-282-006, Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) Control Plan.


Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp) is a naturally occurring bacteria found in marine waters. Molluscan bivalve shellfish acquire Vp through filter feeding. Humans who consume raw or undercooked shellfish containing Vp can develop an intestinal disease called Vibriosis,

In 2021, there were a high number of vibriosis cases involving Washington shellfish largely due to exceedingly high temperatures during the summer months. 

The department expects this trend to continue. This indicates a need to review the rule requirements to determine if the current controls are adequate to protect consumers and consider more if more proactive measures to prevent illness and protect public health are appropriate.

Revisions could include a combination of requirements based on environmental factors to determine the safety of shellfish prior to harvest and consumption. The rule revision may also include updating definitions, seed size and other technical and editorial changes as needed.

As standard Board rulemaking, the work will likely take two or more years to complete and is on-going.

An update was given to the Board on August 9, 2023. More information and the meeting materials can be found on the State Board of Health Meeting Information and Sanitary Control of Shellfish rulemaking webpages.

Get Involved

A Rule Advisory Committee (RAC) met several times to discuss possible changes to the Sanitary Control of Shellfish, covering a wide variety of topics. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Seed Size, Aquaculture, and Wild Seed (PDF)

RAC Meeting Presentations

To stay informed about this rulemaking and other Vp related information, sign up for Vibrio email notices.

Rulemaking Files


What's This?

Date Filed

CR-101 (PDF)

Announces intent of rulemaking.

February 23, 2023


Jocelyn Jones, Rules Coordinator

Stuart Glasoe, Subject Matter Expert - SBOH

Danielle Toepelt, Subject Matter Expert