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THE FISH INSPECTOR Number 63 December 2004 GENERAL 6th World Congress on Seafood Safety Seafood Services Australia (SSA) and the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council (NZSIC) will jointly host the 6th World Congress on Seafood Safety, Quality and Trade (formerly the World Fish Inspection & Quality Control Congress). This is the first time the Congress is being held in the Southern Hemisphere. The Congress will take place from 14 to 16 September 2005 at Star City, Sydney, NSW and would be held back to back with the Australian Seafood Industry Council (ASIC) biennial ‘Seafood Directions Conference’ to be held at the same venue from 12-14 September 2005. The week, 11-17 September 2005 promises to be the best ever for the seafood industry as, besides these events, there will also be the Fine Food Australia (Exhibition) at Darling Harbour (12-15 September) and many other activities (tours, cooking demonstrations, etc) at the Sydney Fish Market. There will be something for everyone! The Congress with the theme “Balancing the Scales”, focuses on a number of key challenges involved in balancing the need for safe food with the need to facilitate trade. Many renowned speakers will present diverse views on current international issues to stimulate debate. In addition to this, technical workshops will focus on important food safety issues. Jayne Gallagher, IAFI Board member representing the South Pacific Region, stated that they are particularly keen to have maximum participation by people from developing and emerging economies and hence have developed sponsorship packages for delegates from these areas. Seafood is the most traded commodity in the world and it is of paramount importance to the welfare of many countries, added Ms. Gallagher. SSA/NZSIC has established a Congress programme committee which is working hard to ensure a thought-provoking programme. An exclusive website on the event will be set up shortly and the brochures made available by early November. For further details, consult IAFI website, http://www.iafi.net. Join IAFI! WHO International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) To promote the exchange of information and to improve collaboration among food safety authorities, WHO is building a new International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN). A food safety emergency network (INFOSAN EMERGENCY) will be an integral part of INFOSAN. More information is available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/infosan/en/ or by contacting Mr Jørgen Schlundt (Tel: +41 22 791 3445 – E-mail: email@example.com) Source: Food Safety News No. 11, Aug 2004 FAO/WHO: Workshop on residues of veterinary drugs FAO, in association with WHO organised a workshop in Bangkok, Thailand, during 24-26 August 2004 to identify the scientific, technical and regulatory problems related to the detection of trace amounts of chloramphenicol and nitrofurans in animal products and to recommend appropriate follow-up actions. The workshop papers and final report of the workshop are now available at: www.fao.org/es/ESN/food/meetings_vetdrugs_en.stm Source: Food Safety and Quality Update No. 22, Oct 2004 Shewanella putrefaciens and Shewanella alga pathogenicity The taxon Shewanella putrefaciens (Pseudomonas putrefaciens), comprises a group of gram- negative oxidative and non-oxidative bacilli whose chief phenotypic attribute is the production of hydrogen sulphide gas (H2S) on TSI slants. S. putrefaciens is the chief marine fish spoiler. In 1990, the Japanese scientists proposed the name, Shewanella alga for a tetrodotoxin-producing isolate recovered from red algae. Both S. putrefaciens and S. alga are uncommon as isolates from human clinical syndromes, their natural habitats being all forms of water, fish, oily foodstuffs, and soil. S. alga appears to be more closely related to human illness than S. putrefaciens. Nevertheless, S. putrefaciens also shows significant pathogenic potential, mainly under special environmental circumstances. Indeed, most of the reported infections were related to contact with contaminated waters or injuries in which integrity of the skin was compromised to some extent. In addition, isolation of S. putrefaciens occurred in polymicrobial infections. Present knowledge indicates that both bacteria should probably be regarded as emerging opportunistic pathogens in taking care of immunosuppressed patients. Source: L Pagani et al (2003). Soft tissue infection and bacteraemia caused by Shewanella putrefaciens. J Clinical Microbiology, 41 (5) May 2003:2240-2241 and S Khase & J M Jande (1998). Biochemical and chemical properties of Shewanella alga and Shewanella putrefaciens. J Clinical Microbiology, 36 (3) Mar 1998:783-787. Technological advance: Slurry ice systems The application of slurry ice systems - consisting of ice-water suspensions prepared from marine water chilled at subzero temperatures for the storage of aquatic food products is receiving increasing attention. Such binary systems, described in the scientific literature as flow ice, fluid ice, slush ice or liquid ice, afford two main advantages concerning the handling and storage of seafood. A faster chilling rate as compared with flake-ice or refrigerated seawater (RSW), deriving from its higher heat-exchange capacity, and the reduced physical damage caused to seafood products by its spherical microscopic particles as compared with conventional ice. Oxidation and dehydration mechanisms may also be limited by the overall coverage of the whole surface of the products. Source: C Piñeiro J et al, Trends in Fd. Sci. Technol. 15(12), Dec 2004: 575-582 AFRICAN NEWS Ghana: Regional workshop in West Africa on WTO and Fisheries The FAO Fisheries Department in co-operation with INFOPECHE organised a regional workshop on the WTO and Fisheries in Accra, Ghana from August 31 - September 3, 2004. Topics included fish trade issues, fish quality and safety, market access, EU quality requirements, fishing access agreements and legislative issues. Participants were from the national fisheries, trade and customs administrations, and also included veterinary inspectors, academics and representatives from the fishery industry and NGOs. The workshop was part of a FAO Trust Fund Project funded by SIDA of Sweden. For further details and more information about the workshop contact, William Emerson of FAO at William.Emerson@fao.org or Amadou Tall of INFOPECHE at firstname.lastname@example.org Namibia: INFOSA professionals visit INFOFISH Two professionals from INFOSA, based in Namibia, visited INFOFISH, Malaysia, for a familiarization exercise and training. INFOSA is the regional marketing and technical advisory services project within the framework of the FISHINFONetwork, covering the Southern African countries. Dr (Ms) Luisa Arthur, Quality Assurance Officer, INFOSA, focused her visit on the technical advisory services and visits to seafood processing facilities including discussions with relevant national departments of INFOFISH member countries on HACCP implementation and monitoring of EU regulations. Source: INFOFISH International 5/2004:80. NEWS FROM ARAB COUNTRIES Yemen: Conference on Traceability, quality and environment INFOSAMAK “Centre for Marketing Information and Advisory Services for Fishery Products in the Arab Region”, a member of the FISH INFONetwork set up by GLOBEFISH, organized an International Conference on “Traceability, Quality and Environment of Fishery Products” from 6 - 8 December 2004 in Mukalla (Hadramout Governorate), Yemen. This was in conjunction with a Business Meeting. The event was organized with the collaboration of the FAO with the support of the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC). The aim of this conference was to help seafood exporters in the Arab Region to better understand the implications of this new regulation. Additional information is provided online at: www.infosamak.org/traceability/home.cfm. Information can also be obtained from Mr. Mohammed Ichibane, Fish Processing and Quality Specialist, INFOSAMAK, 71, Bd Rahal El Meskini, 20000 Casablanca, Morocco, Phone: +212 22 54 08 56, Fax: +212 22 54 08 55, URL: www.infosamak.org ASIAN NEWS China: EU lifts ban on Chinese products The members in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health agreed on a European Commission proposal to authorize the import of products of animal origin, including seafood products, from China into the EU. These restrictions were in place since January 2002 after traces of antibiotic residues were detected in products of animal origin imported from China. Among other measures, the Chinese have undertaken to test all consignments for export and to issue a sanitary certificate only for those consignments found to be in conformity with EU requirements. Source: INFOFISH International 5/2004: 53. Taiwan: Stricter control for eel export Consequent to the detection of antibiotic residue in eel shipments to Japan, the Council of Agriculture’s Fisheries Administration, Taiwan has started monitoring and has requested eel farmers to exercise self discipline. Taiwan exports almost 90% of its eel production to Japan. The Fisheries Administration will take a number of measures to enforce testing for the antibiotic enroflaxin and implement a certification system for eel exports. An announcement in this regard is expected soon. In October 2003, a number of live and processed eels were found to contain sulfamethazine and this prompted Japan to impose a strict testing regime on all Taiwanese eel imports. Since then government officials have been urging eel growers to follow norms regulating antibiotics in eel and not to use unapproved chemicals. The government and the eel farming industry have taken a number of steps to tighten monitoring on eel exports and have enforced testing for residues of five antibiotics including sulphamethazine, which is used to treat eel infections. Although Japan lifted its inspection order on eel imports from Taiwan last August, a number of isolated cases of antibiotic residues in eels imported from Taiwan prompted Japanese authorities to put the order back into effect. Taiwanese Fishery Administration officials feel that monitoring of the hygiene compliance in eel breeding farms, tightening of the control procedures, campaign against use of illegal pesticides and enhancing testing for banned antibiotics will help to regain confidence in the Japanese market. Source: FIS - World News, October 19, 2004. Thailand: Gnasthostoma infections in fish sold in Nakhon Nayok Province Gnasthostomiasis, caused by roundworms (Nematodes) of the genus Gnasthostoma, is a serious helminthic disease that has posed major health problems among the Thai people for a long time. This is not only because of the constantly high incidence of infection, but also for the ineffective results of medical treatment. The infection is primarily acquired by eating raw or improperly cooked meat, especially fish, leading to the clinical syndrome, cutaneous and/or visceral larva migrans. Gnasthostomiasis is considered to be an important disease re-emerging across the Asian continent, especially in Thailand and Japan, and in Latin America (Mexico and Ecuador). Sporadic cases have been reported in many other countries. Infected people going to live/work abroad, emigrants acquiring the infection in endemic countries and overseas travellers are those suffering from the disease after returning home. In a recent study in several local markets in Nakhon Nayok Province, Thailand, 8 (eight) freshwater fish species that had grown naturally, rather than raised commercially, were found to be infected with gnasthostome larvae. The overall prevalence was 5.1% and a total of 5,969 larvae were recovered. The highest rate of infection was found in the swamp eel (Monopterus albus). The rates in the remaining infected fish were as follows; climbing perch (Anabas testudineus) 7.7%, striped snake- head (Channa striata) 7.4%, walking catfish (Clarius macrocephalus) 6.7%, giant snake-head (Channa micropeltes) 5.1%, blotched snake-head (Channa lucius) 4.0%, batrachian walking catfish (Clarius batrachus) 1.4%, and butter sheatfish (Ompok krattensis) 0.6%. The mean number of larvae/fish was highest in swamp eels (10.0 larvae/eel), and the maximum number of 698 larvae was recovered from one eel. Source: W. Rojekittikhun et al. (2004). The Southeast Asian J. of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 35 (3) Sep 2004:518-522. EUROPEAN NEWS Russia: Opisthorchiasis from imported raw fish Liver fluke infection caused by Opisthorchiidae is a major public health problem in many parts of the Far East, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe. However, with the growing volume of international travel and population migration, the infection is increasingly diagnosed in countries where the disease is not endemic, particularly in North America. While ample information is available on the biology and epidemiology of liver fluke infection in Southeast Asia, (recently summarized in a special issue of Acta Tropica, which reports in English) the information on the situation in the former Soviet Union is scarce. Because so many persons have emigrated from the former USSR to Western countries in recent years, physicians in these countries should be more familiar with the condition; thus, review of the epidemiology of opisthorchiasis in former USSR is appropriate. Source: O. Yossepowitch et al (2004) Opisthorchiasis from imported raw fish. Emerging Infectious Diseases [serial on the Internet]. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no12/04-0410.htm LATIN AMERICAN NEWS Loss of Juan Cuellar On 21 October 2004 Dr. Juan Cuellar died suddenly in Buenos Aires, Argentina from a cardio- respiratory condition. Juan was a dear colleague, particularly for those members of the Pan-American Network on Fish Inspection and Quality Control where he was a founding member and a strong pillar. Juan’s last positing was in the Institute for Food Protection (INPPAZ), Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) – World Health Organization (WHO), Buenos Aires, Argentina. NORTH AMERICAN NEWS Canada: Pacific Fisheries Technologists Annual Conference International Association of Fish Inspectors (IAFI) members have a special invitation and registration fee offer from the Pacific Fisheries Technologists (PFT) to attend their upcoming 56th Annual Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada, on February 20-23, 2005. The “Pacific Fisheries Technologists” consists of a dynamic mix of fisheries technologists from Alaska to Mexico representing the seafood industry, suppliers & processors, government, academia, and research organizations in the Pacific West Coast. This group has been meeting annually for the past 56 years to talk on subjects of common interest in fisheries technology. The location of the annual meeting rotates from South to North (Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska), and in 2005 it will be British Columbia’s turn to host the event. A special registration fee has been arranged for members of IAFI. They only need to indicate the membership status on the PFT Registration Form for a reduction in their attendance fee to $200 CDN, which is valid until January 15, 2005, (full registration fee of $250 CDN will apply after that). Further details can be obtained from Ralph Drew, President, Pacific Fisheries Technologists, Tel: 604- 681-0211, Fax: 604-681-3277, email: ralph.drew@PFT2005.org. For the latest updates on the conference programme and related activities, please go through PFT website at www.PFT2005.org USA: Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling The United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS) published the interim final rule on September 30, 2004 for Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling of Fish and Shellfish, under the U.S. Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (U.S. Farm Bill). The interim final rule will become effective April 4, 2005 and will cover those companies involved in exporting fish products intended for retail sale in the U.S. Under the interim final rule, farm-raised and wild fish and shellfish sold by U.S. retailers must be labelled to indicate their country of origin and method of production (wild and/or farm-raised). The rule also outlines the criteria which must be met to label products as country of origin “United States” and the record keeping requirements for retailers and their suppliers. To obtain a copy of the interim final rule or for the latest information on the subject, refer to USDAMS website, www.ams.usda.gov/cool. USA: Seafood Technical Innovations Conference The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) the largest seafood trade association in the U.S. and the University of Florida in association with Florida Sea Grant Program are sponsoring a “2005 Seafood Technical Innovations Conference”. The conference will be held in Orlando, FL (USA) from 31 January to 3 February, 2005. The conference will feature a variety of technical topics to assist Quality Control and Research and Development and Production personnel in their jobs. A special symposium on the Use of carbon monoxide and filtered smoke is sponsored by the University of Florida; Aquatic Food Product Programme and Florida Sea Grant Programme. More information can be obtained in the NFI website: http://www.nfi.org/?a=events>http://www.nfi.org/?a=events USA: Task force on biotoxins A new task force chaired by Dr. James Hungerford (US Food and Drug Administration, Seafood Products Research Center, Bothell, WA USA) under the auspices of the AOAC International will work on prioritizing, funding, and accelerating validation studies of methods for marine and freshwater toxins. The task force has 63 members, consisting of marine and freshwater toxin experts and also government and industry stakeholders from many countries that are major seafood producers, and is still expanding. Future meetings will be held in Bayone, Spain, April 2005 (joint Toxin Symposium), Seattle, June 2005 (AOAC NW Regional Meeting), Mobile Bay, Alabama (ISSC annual national meeting) August 2005, and Hawaii (Pacifichem 2005). The new Task Force website can be accessed at: http://www.aoac.org/marine_toxins/task_force.htm, and the current Task Force membership is also listed in the website. For further information on the Marine and Freshwater Toxins Task Force, contact: Dr. James M. Hungerford, Research Chemist, Seafood Products Research Center, PRL/NW FDA, 22201 23rd Dr SE, Bothell, WA 98021, Tel: 425-483-4894, Fax: 425-483-4996, E-mail: James.Hungerford@fda.gov PUBLICATIONS Book on Traceability EUROFISH has published “A Guide to Traceability within the Fish Industry” by S. Derrick and M. Dillon. This publication could be purchased from: EUROFISH; PO Box 0896; DK 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark. E-mail: email@example.com The next issue of THE FISH INSPECTOR will be distributed in March 2005. Please forward any information you may wish to have disseminated through this newsletter to: Mr C A Lima dos Santos, Rua Cel. Eurico Gomes de Sousa 510 Cob 01, Jardim Oceanico – Barra da Tijuca, 22620-320 Rio de Janeiro, RJ – BRASIL, Tel: +55 21 2491-0704; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Editor-in-Chief: S Subasinghe - INFOFISH, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Spanish Translation: Nelson Avdalov, Graciela Pereira & Gloria Scelza - INFOPESCA, Montevideo, Uruguay. Portugese Translation: Carlos Lima dos Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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