Medical Biodefence Conferense 2011

A qualitative risk assessment about fish parasites of public health importance has been performed after the EU risk managers asked EFSA to assess the food safety concerns due to possible allergic reactions in consumers to parasites in fishery products; to evaluate alternative treatments for killing parasites in fishery products and evaluate their effectiveness compared to the freezing method described in the hygiene regulations; to set criteria for fishing grounds for wild catch and for aquaculture that do not present a health hazard with regard to the presence of parasites.For allergy, the only hazard in fishery products implicated is the parasitic nematode Anisakis simplex , and sensitisation occurs via infection by live larvae. Allergy to A. simplex is relatively common in few EU Member States but rarely reported in most parts of Europe. Prevention of sensitisation is most likely to be effective by control of A. simplex infection. Considering killing methods for fish parasites, many traditional marinating and cold smoking methods seem to be not sufficient to kill A. simplex and freezing or heat treatments remain the most effective processes guaranteeing killing. Concerning the safety of fishing grounds, the BIOHAZ Panel concluded that all wild caught seawater and freshwater fish must be considered at risk. Apart from farmed Atlantic salmon, sufficient monitoring data are not available for any other farmed fish therefore it is not possible to identify which fish species do not present a health hazard with respect to the presence of parasites.



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