FDA Updates Seafood Guidance to Enhance Seafood Safety

FDA is announcing the availability of the 4th edition of the “Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance.”  This updated guidance contains FDA’s latest recommendations to the seafood industry for reducing or eliminating food safety hazards in the fish and fishery products they process.

Key changes found in the new edition include:

Updated post harvest treatment information for pathogenic bacteria in shellfish – including  Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus – consistent with the current recommendations of the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference;

Revised time and temperature recommendations to better control for scombrotoxin (histamine) formation and pathogenic bacteria;

Consistency with statutes, regulations, tolerances, and action levels which have changed since the publication of the previous edition;

The species-hazard identification table has been expanded to include additional species of seafood now found in the U.S. market;

More comprehensive descriptions of potential illnesses and injuries which could result from a hazard.

FDA requires processors of seafood intended for the U.S. market to identify potential hazards associated with the types of seafood they process and to develop and implement a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) program to control for those hazards that are reasonably likely to occur.  Processors can use the guidance to help identify the likelihood that a food safety hazard may occur in their product and to guide them in the preparation of appropriate HACCP plans.

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