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EU Commission Regulation to Update Maximum Level and Sampling Plan for Histamine in Fish Sauce

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EU increased the maximum level of histamine in fish products.
EU increased the maximum level of histamine in fish products.
2013-12-17 09:49:14 - The European Union announced Commission Regulation (EU) No 1019/20131 in the Official Journal on 23 October 2013 amending the Annex I of Regulation (EU) No 2073/20052 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the maximum level and sampling plan on imports for histamine in fish sauce produced by fermentation of fishery products.

Histamine in Food Products

Histamine is a naturally occurring biogenic amine. It can be found in foods such as fish and fish products, meat, cheese and fermented foods. The presence of histamine in these foods can indicate microbiological spoilage or poor manufacturing processes. Ingesting food with high levels of histamine can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and perspiration.

Regulations on Histamine in Fish Products

The amendments as described in Commission Regulation (EU) 1019/2013 include following areas:

- To increase the Maximum Level of histamine in fish sauce. The new maximum level of histamine in fish sauce produced by fermentation of fishery products is established at 400 mg/kg. This update is in compliance with Codex Alimentarius standards (CODEX STAN 302-20113) which has a

fixed new maximum limit at 40 mg histamine/100g of fish sauce and in line with the Food Safety research agency of the European Union (European Food Safety Authority: EFSA Journal 2011; 9 (10):23934) consumer exposure data report.

- The normal sampling plan for histamine from fishery products consists of nine samples which require a large amount of sample material, but since fish sauce is a liquid fishery product, the histamine content can be expected to be evenly distributed. The sampling plan can therefore be simpler than for other fishery products. The new single sample sampling plan shall be applied for histamine in fish sauce placed on the market during its shelf-life. If the single samples are found to contain more than 400 mg/kg the whole batch should be deemed unsafe.

This Regulation entered into force on 12 November 2013.


(1) Commission Regulation (EU) No 1019/2013 ( ..)

(2) Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 ( ..)

(3) Codex Stan 302-2011 ( ..)

(4) EFSA Journal 2011; 9 (10):2393 (

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Press Information:
Supaporn Surawattanaboon

SGS (Thailand) Limited
Bangkok, Thailand

Contact Person:
Supaporn Surawattanaboon
R&D Chemist
Phone: +66 2 683 0541
email: email


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