Priorities for future industry research programs need to be developed to demonstrate food safety requirements are being met.
As part of the YTKF development, food safety is identified as a high priority in the Yellowtail Kingfish Aquaculture Strategic Research and Development Plan 2003-2008. Specific food safety issues for the Industry to address to support its sustainable development include:
- Longer feeding cycles for Yellowtail Kingfish.
- Multiple market weights for Yellowtail Kingfish.
- Multiple markets for Yellowtail Kingfish, hence multiple residue standards.
- Multiple and mixed origins of feed components for Yellowtail Kingfish aquafeeds.
At the 35th session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants being held in March in Tanzania the issue of setting of Maximum Limits (MLs) for farmed fish and aquafeeds is being discussed. Many of the YTKF markets are Codex Alimentarius Member Nations. At this meeting data will be presented on dioxin levels in fish meal/oil, binders, anti-caking agents, anticoagulants, trace elements, macro minerals and pre-mixes.
The EU has set a Maximum Level (NL) for dioxin in muscle meat of fish and fishery products and products at 4 pg WHO-PCDD/F-TEQ/g fresh weight. On or before 2006 this ML for dioxin will be reduced significantly, and may be converted to a fat weight basis ML in line with all other EU commodity MLs that have been set for dioxin.
For manufactured aquafeeds the EU has set a dioxin ML of 2.25 ng WHO-PCDD/F-TEQ//kg (relative to a moisture content of 12%), under Council Directive 2001/102/EC. Currently levels in South American sourced products are one tenth of those levels found in European sourced products.
Codex have stressed the importance of examining the transfer and retention of individual dioxin congeners from feed to food producing animals (ie fish) not total dioxin alone. Stochastic Monte Carlo predictive modelling options could be considered to address this.
Japan and Australia have adopted dioxin standards based on dietary modelling, setting a Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) for the whole diet.
FSANZ is currently undertaking a dioxin survey of Australian foods including seafood.
Environment Australia as part of the National Dioxins Program, in conjunction with the National Residue Survey is undertaking a national survey of dioxin levels in a variety of foods, native animals, plants and aquatic biota.
Under European Union Commission Regulation (EC) No 466/2001 "Setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs", a Maximum Level (ML) for lead in muscle tissue of fish of 0.2 mg/kg is in force.
Codex Alimentarius is considering reducing the Maximum Limit (ML) for lead (Pb) from 0.5 mg/kg to 0.2 mg/kg in fish muscle tissue.
Under EU Commission Regulation (EC) No 466/2001 of 8 March 2001 "Setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs", a ML has been set for cadmium in fish. Australia does not have a ML for cadmium in fish under the FSANZ Food Code.
The US Congress is currently considering reducing the ML for mercury in fish.
Singapore's Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority administers the "Sale of Food Act" & "Food Regulations" which govern residue MLs for trade.
Hazards such as dioxin (PCDD/F) and PCBs have been identified in manufactured feeds as priorities for further investigation by industry. These issues are now being discussed by the South Australian Marine Finfish Farmers Association Inc (SAMFFA) and Australian feed manufacturers as part of developing a feed quality assurance scheme.
Information has been provided to growers on traceability requirements in overseas markets. There is a need to capture information being collected by multiple sources along the production chain into a single traceability system.
Data collected within this project was used to satisfy formal EU product integrity market access requirements (managed by DAFF) for YTKF and Mulloway in 2003 & 2004. DAFF is also examining feed data collected within this project as part of the development of national residue for residues in aquaculture feeding materials.
All test results fully met official standards set by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) within the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare within the Food Sanitation Law, Codex Alimentarius Commission, United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Commission (EC).
Keywords: Yellowtail Kingfish, Mulloway, contaminant, food safety, residue, mercury, feed, dioxin, PCBs, aquaculture.