GRANT NUMBER: NA97FD0087
Education Program to Influence Consumption Behavior of
High-Risk Individuals Regarding Raw Molluscan Shellfish
- Phase III Final Report
Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC)
CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE FINAL REPORT IN .PDF FORMAT
ISSC Final Report 1
Since 1996, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Saltonstall-Kennedy
Grants Program has funded the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) to
conduct educational programs aimed at reducing illness from Vibrio vulnificus infection.
This grant, A National Education Program to Influence Consumption Behavior of High-
Risk Individuals Regarding Raw Molluscan Shellfish-Phase III, is the third in a multipart
effort to develop educational strategies, materials and partnerships to realize this
Until recently, V. vulnificus disease reduction efforts were voluntary and carried out
primarily by the ISSC. In July 2001, however, the ISSC formally adopted Issue 00-201
with confirmation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The National
Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) Guide for the Control of Molluscan Shellfish now
requires states to develop and implement a Vibrio vulnificus Risk Management Plan if
there are two or three V. vulnificus cases associated with raw or undercooked oysters
originating from the waters of that state.
The collective goal of these risk
management plans is to reduce rates of V. vulnificus illness by 40 percent
for 2005-2006, and 60 percent for 2007Ė2008. Illness reduction
rates will be determined using case reports collected by FDAís Southeast Regional
Office. Issue 00-201 also identifies the regulatory consequences should core statesí efforts
fail to meet these illness reduction goals. These new guidelines prompt states
to implement effective education and prevention measures to avoid regulatory
which would significantly affect the shellfish industry.
Since the passage of Issue 00-201, four states have developed Vibrio vulnificus Risk
Management Plans: Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama. The NSSP Guide
requires that all risk reduction plans include consumer education programs targeting
consumers at increased risk of V. vulnificus infection. During Phase III, the ISSC
ISSC Final Report 2 provided financial and technical assistance to states required to develop risk
management plans. The ISSC assisted these states, along with California and
Mississippi, in designing education programs, selecting priority audiences, and linking
media activities to these audiences. The ISSC also supplied informational materials to
many other state and federal agencies.
During Phase III, the ISSC developed
several new educational materials (e.g., a video press kit, a consumer brochure
in Spanish, and several articles for high-risk
audiences, and a health care provider kit) and updated others (e.g., the consumer
brochure and physician fact sheet). In addition to material development and
dissemination, the ISSC furthered collaboration with voluntary organizations
those at risk, such as the American Liver Foundation (ALF). The ALFís relationship
to Veteran Administration hospitals and Hispanic community groups opened new
reaching high-risk communities.
A survey of raw oyster consumers
was among Phase IIIís most important
accomplishments. Issue 00-201 charged the ISSCís Vibrio Management Committee
with evaluating state educational efforts using a consumer survey. Members of
the ISSC's Vibrio vulnificus Education Subcommittee drafted the questionnaire.
contracted Clearwater Research Inc. to collect and analyze the data. This information
serves as a baseline measure of consumer awareness, attitudes and behavior. It
also provides a basis for assessing changes in consumer knowledge and behavior
next several years.
Over the course of this project, the ISSC implemented six principal interventions:
Surveyed raw oyster consumers to establish their current risk awareness and behavior;
Developed partnerships with organizations with direct links to persons at risk;
Disseminated consumer brochures and fact sheets to agencies and individuals involved in V. vulnificus education;
Provided funds for core and other states to conduct educational activities;
Inserted articles on V. vulnificus in magazines or other media reaching those at high-risk; and
Developed and disseminated V. vulnificus press kits to all ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX media outlets in three core states.