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Food safety and aquatic animals. Lahsen Ababouch Chief, Fish Products, Trade and Marketing Fisheries and Aquaculture Department Food and Agriculture Organization Rome, Italy OIE Global Conference on Aquatic Animal Health Programmes : Their benefits for Global Food Security

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food safety and aquatic animals
Food safety and aquatic animals

Lahsen Ababouch

Chief, Fish Products, Trade and Marketing

Fisheries and Aquaculture Department

Food and Agriculture Organization

Rome, Italy

OIE Global Conference on Aquatic Animal Health Programmes: Their benefits for Global Food Security

Panama City, 28 – 30 June 2011

fisheries and aquaculture value chain estimated at us 818 billion
Fisheries and Aquaculture Value Chain (Estimated at US $ 818 billion)

Capture fisheries

US $ 100 billion

Primary processing

US $ 90 billion

Secondary processing

US $ 180 billion


US $ 350 billion


US $ 98 billion

historical background
Historical background
  • Attempts to codify food well known by early civilizations and during the middle age
  • Scientific developments of nineteenth century
  • More recent milestones
    • 1963: Creation of the Codex Alimentarius
    • 1985, the UNGA adopted resolution 39/248 on guidelines for consumer protection
    • 1995: Creation of the WTO and signing of two agreements on The SPS measures and on TBT
technical barriers to trade agreement tbt
Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT)
  • Revised Agreement from Tokyo Round (1973 - 79)
  • Purpose of Agreement:
    • To encourage the development and use of international standards and conformity assessment systems
    • to prevent the use of technical requirements as unjustifiable trade barriers
    • To prevent deceptive trade practices
  • Product (1979) vs. product, process and production methods (1995)
  • SPS measures for agriculture and foods dealt with separately under SPS

“any measure”

Scope of SPS and TBT is different!

technical regulations, standards, conformity assessment proceduresCentral Governments, regional Governments, Non Government Organizations

sps tbt harmonization and equivalence
SPS/TBT, harmonization and equivalence

World Trade Organisation



Codes of Practice



other international



objectives of the codex alimentarius
Objectives of the Codex alimentarius
  • To protect the health of consumers;
  • To ensure fair trade practices in food production and distribution;
  • To coordinate the development of food standards and facilitate international trade in food
management organs of the codex alimentarius
Management Organs of the Codex Alimentarius
  • The Executive Committee
  • The Regional Co-coordinating Committees
  • The Secretariat of the Commission
technical organs of the codex alimentarius
Technical Organs of the Codex Alimentarius
  • 9 General Subject (horizontal) Committees
  • 12 Commodity (vertical) Committees
  • 4 Ad Hoc Inter-Governmental Task Forces (JECFA, JEMRA,...)
general subject committees
General Subject Committees
  • General Principles (France)
  • Import/Export Inspection and Certification Systems (Australia)
  • Food Labeling (Canada)
  • Methods of Analysis & Sampling (Hungary)
  • Food Hygiene (USA)
  • Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Food (USA)
  • Pesticide Residues (Netherlands)
  • Food Additives and Contaminants (Netherlands)
  • Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (Germany)
active commodity committees
Active Commodity Committees
  • Fats and Oils (Malaysia)
  • Fish and Fishery Products (Norway)
  • Milk and Milk Products (New Zealand)
  • Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (Mexico)
  • Cocoa Products & Chocolate (Switzerland)
  • Natural Mineral Waters (Switzerland)


Decision to elaborate standard (Commission)


Draft standard proposed (Relevant Codex Committee)


Request for Comments (Secretariat)


Amendments / Session (Relevant Codex Committee)


Adoption as a draft standard (Commission)


Request for Comments (Secretariat)


Amendments / Session (Relevant Codex Committee)


Adoption as a Codex standard (Commission)


codex outputs relevant to fisheries and aquaculture
Codex Outputs relevant to Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Code of practice for food hygiene (GHP, HACCP, Risk assessment, microbiological criteria)
  • Standards for fish and fishery products (Volume 9A: 16 standards on frozen, canned, salted and dried fish, 2 guidelines for sensory evaluation)
  • Code of practice for Fish and Fishery products (GHP, GAP, HACCP)
  • Several international risk assessments (Vibrios in seafood, biotoxins, antimicrobial resistance)
  • Several principles and guidelines for food import and export inspection and certification
  • MRL for veterinary drugs relevant to FFP
  • MRL for contaminants relevant to FFP
  • Work in progress (EC Viruses, Risk/benefits of MeHg or active chlorine, antimicrobial resistance, fish sauce, sturgeon caviar)
the food chain approach fao
The food chain approach (FAO)
  • Prevention at Source
  • Risk Analysis
  • Harmonization
  • Equivalence
  • Traceability
prevention at source
Prevention at source
  • Producers and processors are responsible for fish safety and quality along the food chain using preventive systems (GAP, GHP, HACCP and GMP)
  • Competent authorities enact food laws and regulations, verify that producers and processors apply properly preventive systems (through inspection, audit and verification)

The Risk Analysis Process

  • Risk
  • Assessment
  • “scientific”
  • hazards
  • exposure
  • dose-response
  • synthesis
  • uncertainty
  • Risk Management
  • “policy”
  • social
  • cultural
  • economic

Risk Communication

(interactive exchange


information and ideas)



food safety hazards from aquatic animal products
Food safety hazards from aquatic animal products
  • Microbiological contaminants:
    • Bacteria (Vibrio spp., Salmonella, Shigella, E.coli,...)
    • viruses (hepatitis A, Norwalk)
    • Parasites (nematodes, cestodes, trematodes)
  • Chemical contaminants: pesticides, heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs,...
  • Residues of
    • veterinary drugs (chloramphenicol, nitrofurans, green malachite,...)
    • additives (e.g. metabisulfites)
  • Biotoxins: PSP, DSP, ASP, NSP
sources of food safety hazards in aquaculture
Sources of food safety hazards in aquaculture
  • Farm and its surroundings
  • Water
  • Source of fry and fingerlings
  • Feed
  • Grow-out (practices, workers, animals)
  • Harvesting and transportation

Biosecurity vs GAP/GHP

harmonization and equivalence
Harmonization and equivalence
  • Codex standards, Codes of practice and guidelines
  • European Union: “Farm to Fork” Food Hygiene Package (2002 + 2005)
  • FDA: 1997 (21CFR 1230): GHP, GMP, Guidance for hazards in fish and fishery products, Seafood HACCP Alliance training program
  • Mutual recognition agreements
economics us per ha
Economics (US$ per ha)

Gross Revenue increased by 14%

Profit Doubled over the year

progress 2007 2009
Progress: 2007-2009

FAO Aceh 601/ARC Jun 2010

development of private standards
Food scares: Mad cow disease, Dioxin, Avian flu, SARS,...

Loss of confidence in public control authorities

Concern over the sustainability of natural resources, the marine fauna (dolphins, whales, turtles,...) and environment

Increasing influence of civil society and consumer advocacy groups

Globalization of production, processing and trade

Vertical integration and Consolidation

“Supermarketization”, including in developing countries

Increasing role of retailers as the last link between suppliers and consumers.

The use of B2B standards to protect reputations

Emergence of coalitions (GFSI, BRC)

Development of “private standards”

“Corporate social responsibility” - Legality (IUU)- Sustainability- Certification - Eco-labelling- Tracability and chain of custody- Social and Environmental aspects


Market Response

Individual logos are the property of the owner and used for illustration purposes only


Competing standards and labels can be confusing as to the value of the process

Definition of boundaries between private and public sectors. Who is responsible for what?

Duplication or complementarity

Compliance with WTO rules

Who bears the cost of certification

Specific needs of small scale businesses and developing countries


Market driven phase







  • Governments
  • Policymakers
  • Fisheries Bodies
  • National Fisheries
  • Fishing
  • Farming
  • Sector
  • Processors
  • Retailers
guidelines for aquaculture certification
Guidelines for aquaculture certification
  • Background
  • Scope
  • Terms and Definitions
  • Users
  • Application
  • Principles (OIE)
  • Minimum Substantive Criteria

7.1 Animal Health and Welfare (OIE)

7.2 Food Safety and Quality

7.3 Environmental Integrity

7.4 Social Responsibility


8.1 Governance

8.2 Standards Setting

8.3 Accreditation

8.4 Certification

9. Implementation


! شكراً


Thank you!