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Food Safety Focus (131st Issue, June 2017 ) – Food Incident Highlight

Nitrofurans in Tiger Grouper

Last month, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) found a trace amount (1.6 parts per billion) of metabolite of furazolidone, AOZ, in a chilled tiger grouper sample. Furazolidone, a non-permitted veterinary drug, is a type of nitrofurans.

Nitrofurans are a family of chemical compounds which have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities. The main concern of nitrofurans in food is that these compounds may cause cancer in experimental animals. Based on available scientific information, there is no safe level of residues of certain nitrofurans, including furazolidone and nitrofural (also known as nitrofurazone) or their metabolites in food that represents an acceptable risk to consumers. For this reason, Codex recommended that competent authorities should prevent residues of furazolidone and nitrofural and their metabolites in food. This can be accomplished by not using furazolidone and nitrofural in food producing animals.

The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the irregularity. According to the information provided by the vendor, there was no remaining stock of the affected batch.