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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday released updated guidelines to help the seafood industry reduce or eliminate food-safety hazards.

The fourth edition of the Fish and Fishery Products Hazards Controls Guidance fulfills a mandate of the FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act, which became law in January.

Seafood processors can use the guidelines to help identify the likelihood that a food-safety hazard may occur in their product and to guide them in preparation of appropriate HACCP plans.

Key changes in the new edition include:

• Updated post-harvest treatment information for pathogenic bacteria in shellfish, including Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus, consistent with the current recommendations of the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference

• Revised time and temperature recommendations to better control for scombrotoxin (histamine) formation and pathogenic bacteria

• Consistency with statutes, regulations, tolerances and action levels that have changed since the publication of the previous edition

• The species-hazard identification table has been expanded to include additional species of seafood now found in the U.S. market

• More comprehensive descriptions of potential illnesses and injuries that could result from a hazard

The entire report can be downloaded here.

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