The ASQAP is a cooperative food safety program adopted by each shellfish producing state and territory of Australia. It is overseen by the Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Advisory Committee (ASQAAC), which consists of representatives from Food Safety Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), State Government Departments responsible for shellfish safety and Industry representatives from each state.
The ASQAP is modelled on the internationally accepted United States National Shellfish Sanitation Program. The fundamental premise is that harvesting should only occur from growing areas shown to be free from harmful contaminants and pathogenic micro-organisms. Each growing area must undergo a full and comprehensive sanitary survey, with appropriate classifications and management strategies determined before harvesting is permitted.
All the requirements for completing and maintaining sanitary surveys, and the ongoing management of growing areas are laid out in the ASQAP Manual of Operations. This manual is referenced in the FSANZ Primary Production and Processing Standard for Seafood, Standard 4.2.1.