Orientation and Training
Food and Drug Administration
Seafood analysis within FDA encompasses food safety concerns arising from a number of issues. Chemical indices of decomposition are a measure of product abuse and can be found at the harvesting, distribution and retail levels. This chemical monitoring is done in conjunction with FDA’s sensory (organoleptic) monitoring of seafood offered into commerce. The FDA also gets involved with chemically confirming histamine poisoning at the consumer level, especially when the State Health Department has been involved with an illness associated with a restaurant. Other issues center on chemical therapeutic practices at aquaculture farms, or marine toxins in shellfish. Seafood analysis also provides some of the most challenging chemistry encountered as a bench analyst. Both aquaculture drug residue analysis and seafood toxin analysis involve looking for analytes near the limit of detection and within a complex matrix. Extraction and ultimately the interpretation of results are not always straightforward. In addition, sample processing and handling calls for keen attention for reasons of both personal safety as well as sample integrity. This section provides training guidance for the important and common analyses of chemical indices of decomposition (for all analysts), as well as the advanced and specialized analyses of aquaculture drug residues and marine toxins (for use in specialized laboratories).