Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

New Regulations for Seafood

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

New Regulations for Seafood

Article excerpt

A revolutionary way of protecting the U.S. food supply from contaminants could begin this year under new regulations for seafood safety that take effect December 18, 1997.

The regulations, announced by FDA last December, call for seafood processors to adopt food safety practices based on the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. This system uses preventive controls to keep unsafe foods off the market, instead of addressing safety problems after the fact, which has been the approach since the early 1900s.

FDA estimates its HACCP seafood safety regulations will prevent 20,000 to 60,000 seafood poisonings a year, which cost consumers as much as $116 million annually.

Next year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will issue HACCP rules for meat and poultry, and in future years, FDA plans to issue regulations covering other foods.

Under the seafood regulations, processors must identify hazards that, without preventive controls, are reasonably likely to affect product safety. Examples of food hazards are chemicals, toxins, bacteria, parasites, and physical objects.

If a hazard is identified, the firm must implement an appropriate HACCP plan. For example, a highly mechanized processing line would be checked regularly for metal fragments in the food, and records kept of those checks. …

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