Food Safety Focus (156th Issue, July 2019) – Food Incident Highlight
Sashimi and Health Certificates
Recently, a consumer group's study found parasites and worm eggs in two out of 50 sashimi samples that it tested. The findings raised public concern.
Parasites can occur in both marine and freshwater fish. Good Aquaculture Practice including parasite-controlled diet and rearing environment can reduce the risk of parasite infection in fish. Furthermore, parasites in fish can be killed by freezing with specific temperature and time combinations.
Under current licensing control of the sale of sashimi, raw materials for the preparation of sushi/sashimi shall be sound, wholesome and of good quality from a reliable and reputable source. If the food materials are imported, a copy of the health certificate issued by the relevant authority of the exporting country and acceptable to the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene shall be available for inspection by inspecting officers upon request.
The inherent microbiological risks of consuming raw seafood, for example harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites, cannot be completely eliminated. Susceptible populations, including the elderly, young children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, are advised not to consume raw seafood. The trade can provide a consumer advising as appropriate.