China approves system for histamine detection in seafood

Published on
August 21, 2019

China is launching a new testing kit to detect histamine in seafood.

Xiamen Food and Drug Quality Inspection Institute has come up with the testing method that has been approved by the State Administration for Market Regulation, China’s powerful state quality inspection agency.

Histamine poisoning, also known as scombrotoxin fish poisoning, occurs after eating fish that weren't kept at safe temperatures and spoiled.

The new “rapid testing” apparatus will be distributed to SAMR officials nationally, where it will be used to check fish quality in restaurants, supermarkets, and wholesale markets.

Food safety remains a concern in China and such concerns are helping propel a gradual shift to larger, more professional seafood wholesale markets in major cities. A new wave of boutique retailers and online retailers targeting well-heeled and younger consumers have used an emphasis on food safety as a marketing tool. 

Additionally, Government has highlighted food safety as a key reason for a clampdown on seafood smuggling this year. Large retailers like Alibaba and state-owned importing firms like CNFC and COFCO have invested significantly in distribution networks and hardware and have cast smugglers as a threat to food safety and tax compliance. 

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