Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Fish Parasites

Research has been carried out to identify proper fish handling and processing procedures so the safety of the consumer can be guaranteed. The studies on the effect of fish handling was carried out on board commercial fishing vessels, while the effect of processing was carried out in close contact with the fish processing industry. No migration of parasites from viscera to fillet was detected in fish irrespective of the fish handling procedures. It was confirmed that parasitised fresh herring and mackerel harbours about 2.4 - 4.0% and 5% respectively of the parasites in the flesh already at the time of capture. It is therefore inevitable that foodfish infected with live nematodes will enter into the market. Our studies have confirmed that freezing to -20 C for 24 h (normal safety precaution) as well as heating to 55 C for 1 minute will kill all nematodes. This means that hot smoking is a safe processing technique but household cooking in some cases may be on the borderline of safe preparation. The mortality of nematodes in marinated herring is a function of salt and acetic acid concentration in the fillet and of time. If the salt concentration is increased the holding time can be reduced. Using traditional German marinating procedures (8.0 - 8.4% NaCl, 4% acetic acid in the fish) or traditional Danish processing (7.2 - 7.4% NaCl and 2.0 - 2.2% acetic acid in the fish), the nematodes survived for up to 5 weeks and 6 weeks respectively. Thus it appears that the holding time specified in the German Fisch Verordning is too short. Sorbate did not significantly affect the parasites.

Reported by

Danmarks Fiskeriundersoegelser
Building 221 Technical University
2800 Lyngby
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