Seafood Safety Overview

Surveillance for Foodborne-Disease Outbreaks—United States, 1998—2002, Michael Lynch, MD, John Painter, DVM, Rachel Woodruff, MPH, Christopher Braden, MD. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, November 10, 2006, 55(SS10), 1-34.

Since 1973, CDC has maintained a collaborative surveillance program for collection and periodic reporting of data on the occurrence and causes of foodborne-disease outbreaks (FBDOs) in the United States. During 1998--2002, a total of 6,647 outbreaks of foodborne disease were reported. These outbreaks caused a reported 128,370 persons to become ill. Among 2,167 (33%) outbreaks for which the etiology was determined, bacterial pathogens caused the largest percentage of outbreaks (55%) and the largest percentage of cases (55%). Among bacterial pathogens, Salmonella serotype Enteritidis accounted for the largest number of outbreaks and outbreak-related cases; Listeria monocytogenes accounted for the majority of deaths of any pathogen. Viral pathogens, predominantly norovirus, caused 33% of outbreaks and 41% of cases; the proportion of outbreaks attributed to viral agents increased from 16% in 1998 to 42% in 2002. Chemical agents caused 10% of outbreaks and 2% of cases, and parasites caused 1% of outbreaks and 1% of cases. Outbreaks during this period are characterized by type of food (including seafood and other major food commodities), location of outbreak, and causative agent. To view this report click here.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Fish and Fisheries Products Hazards and Controls Guide. 2011.

Purpose: The primary purpose of this guidance is to assist processors of fish and fishery products in the development of their HACCP plans. Processors of fish and fishery products will find information in this guidance that will help them identify hazards that are associated with their products, and help them formulate control strategies. Another purpose of this guidance is to help consumers and the public generally to understand commercial seafood safety in terms of hazards and their controls. This guidance does not specifically address safe handling practices by consumers or by retail establishments, although many of the concepts contained in this guidance are applicable to both. This guidance is also intended to serve as a tool to be used by federal and State regulatory officials in the evaluation of HACCP plans for fish and fishery products. To view this guidance document click here.

Assessment and Management of Seafood Safety and Quality, Huss, H.H; Ababouch, L; Gram, L., FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 444, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 2003.

Abstract: This paper compiles the state of knowledge on fish safety and quality with the view to provide a succinct yet comprehensive resource book to risk and fish quality managers. After an introduction about world fish production and consumption and the developments in safety and quality systems, it provides a detailed review of the hazards causing public health concerns in fish and fish products. It devotes several Chapters to risk mitigation and management tools, with a detailed description of the requirements for the implementation of Good Hygienic and Manufacturing Practices (GHP/GMP), of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system and of the monitoring programmes to control biotoxins, pathogenic bacteria and viruses and chemical pollutants. Chapters on the use of microbiological criteria, the use of the HACCP approach to target quality aspects other than safety matters, predictive microbiology, traceability and examples of food safety objectives complete the document. To view this document click here.

Seafood Safety - National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine Report, 1991.

This comprehensive report summarizes seafood safety issues related to microbial risks, natural toxins and chemical contaminants in both commercial and recreationally caught seafood. The report was produced by a multidisciplinary committee of 13 scientists convened under the auspices of the Academy’s Food and Nutrition Board. The committee consisted of experts in the fields of public health, marine pathology, marine toxicology, food science and technology, food microbiology, biostatistics, seafood safety policy and regulations, epidemiology, risk assessment, industry structure, and public interest. The committee was asked to evaluate the health effects of marine and freshwater fishery products (fresh or frozen) available to the consumer from commercial and recreational sources, and to identify options for improvement of the current system of seafood surveillance and control. To view this report click here.