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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

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CPG Sec. 540.590 Fish - Fresh and Frozen, as Listed - Adulteration by Parasites



The following represents criteria for direct reference seizure to Division of Compliance Management and Operations (HFC-210) and for direct citation by District Offices:

Parasite findings meet or exceed the following tolerances:

  1. Tullibees, Ciscoes, Inconnus, Chubs and White Fish
    50 cysts per 100 pounds (whole fish or fillets), provided that 20% of the fish examined are infested.
  2. Blue Fin and Other Fresh Water Herring
    1. Fish averaging one pound or less:
      60 cysts per 100 fish, provided that 20% of the fish examined are infested.
    2. Fish averaging over one pound:
      60 cysts per 100 pounds of fish, provided that 20% of the fish examined are infested.
  3. Rose Fish (Red Fish and Ocean Perch):
    3 percent of the fillets examined contain one or more copepods accompanied by pus pockets.


If there is reason to believe that a lot was packed under the supervision of or certified by the National Marine Fisheries Service National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce, *e-mail* or FAX the following information to CFSAN/Office of *Compliance*/Division of Enforcement (HFS-605) and await reply before proceeding:


Sample Number Date of Shipment
Article Involved Dealer
Amount of Lot Shipper
Codes Analytical Conclusions


The article was adulterated when introduced into and while in interstate commerce and is adulterated while held for sale after shipment in interstate commerce within meaning of 21 U.S.C. 342(a)(3), in that it consists wholly or in part of a filthy substance by reason of presence therein of parasitic cysts.

*Material between asterisks is new or revised.*

Issued: 10/1/80
Revised: 10/30/89, 3/95, 5/2005

Updated:  11/29/2005