Fish will be tested for toxins, pesticides and antibiotics

28 September 2021, Tuesday


The Ministry of Agriculture has prepared a new draft of rules for veterinary and sanitary examination of fish, aquatic invertebrates and fish products intended for processing and sale. The project also deals with the examination of fish and fish products that are sold in retail markets. As indicated in the draft, "every batch"should be subjected to examination. The fish is first checked for organoleptic parameters. This includes the appearance, smell, color, taste, consistency, determination of subcutaneous yellowing, etc. Further, the fish is examined according to parasitological and physical indicators. Physical indicators are density, temperature, the presence of cuts or cracks. A study for the determination of ammonia is mandatory. In some cases, tests should be carried out to determine hydrogen sulfide, total nitrogen and dioxins. In addition, as follows from the project, at least once every 6 months, fish should be checked for the presence of microorganisms, including pathogenic ones, as well as for the content of toxic elements, pesticides and radionuclides. It is separately indicated that the products are tested for the content of residual amounts of veterinary drugs, including antimicrobials and growth stimulants. It is noted that the study on the remains of veterinary drugs concerns aquaculture fish. It is worth noting that the previous rules of veterinary and sanitary examination concerned only sea fish and caviar. The document was adopted in 2008. The list of laboratory studies in the old document was much smaller and did not take into account the capabilities of modern veterinary laboratories. For example, the old rules do not require examining fish for the residual content of veterinary drugs. The draft of the new rules states that the following are subject to veterinary and sanitary examination before release into circulation: - live fish and raw fish (fresh), live and fresh aquatic invertebrates, food fish products of animal origin made from them that have not been processed; - food fish products of non-industrial manufacture that have been processed, sold on the market. At the same time, the new rules will not apply to products produced for personal consumption. Also, the fish that has undergone heat treatment (except frozen and chilled) is not subject to veterinary and sanitary examination. That is, for example, smoked, canned or salted. The results of the veterinary and sanitary examination are sent to the Rosselkhoznadzor information system "VetIS", the document says. It is planned that the new rules will come into force on March 1, 2022.

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