Annex 2 - Seafood References for Managing Food Safety: A Manual for the Voluntary Use of HACCP Principles for Operators of Food Service and Retail Establishments

April 2006

Table of Contents

This Annex is provided to assist those segments of the retail and food service industry that deal with seafood. It is suggested that the tables that follow be used during the hazard analysis procedural step.

Table 1. Natural Toxins1 in Seafood
Natural ToxinsType of fish (species)Control
Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP)Molluscan Shellfish
N.E. and N.W. coastal regions of
N. America
NSSP approved waters
(FDA ICSSL listing)
Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning (NSP)Molluscan Shellfish harvested along coast of Gulf of MexicoNSSP approved waters
(FDA ICSSL listing)
Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP)Molluscan ShellfishNSSP approved waters
(FDA ICSSL listing)
Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP)Molluscan Shellfish
N.E. & N.W. coasts of N. America
NSSP approved waters
(FDA ICSSL listing)
Ciguatera Fish Poisoning (CFP)fin fish from extreme S.E. U.S., Hawaii, Subtropical and Tropical areas:
  • barracuda
  • amberjack
  • horse-eye jack
  • black jack
  • other larger species of jack
  • king mackerel
  • large groupers
  • large snappers
Purchase from approved sources:
  • get fish from areas that are not subject of an adverse advisory, or
  • get fish from a reef area known to be monitored for toxicity and not covered by an adverse advisory.
Gempylotoxin, a strong purgative oil (can cause severe diarrhea)EscolarFDA recommendation: Escolar should not be marketed in interstate commerce
TetrodotoxinPuffer Fish or Fugu, usually from Indo-Pacific ocean, however some noted from Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of CaliforniaIllegal to import or receive (exemption: an agreement with one N.Y. importer)
1 Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guide, Third Edition, June 2001
2 The tags must contain a unique state issued "certification number" specific for each certified dealer. If the firm is engaged in interstate commerce, this number appears in FDA's Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List.
Table 2. Fish Considered to be Scombrotoxin-Forming Species1
Toxin FormationSpecies - Market NamesControl
Scombrotoxin formation as a result of time/temperature abuse

Most scombroid poisonings from tuna, mahi-mahi and bluefish. Other species are:

  • Amberjack or yellowtail
  • Anchovy
  • Bluefish
  • Bonito
  • Escolar or Snake Mackerel
  • Gemfish
  • Herring (not River herring)
  • Jack
  • Jobfish
  • Kahawai
  • Mackerel (not Atka)
  • Mahi-Mahi
  • Marlin
  • Pilchard or Sardine
  • Sardine
  • Saury
  • Shad & roe
  • Shad, Gizzard
  • Snapper (Pristipomoides ssp)
  • Sprat or Bristling
  • Trevally
  • Tuna
  • Wahoo
Buy from approved federally inspected suppliers. They are required to receive, hold, and process using a HACCP system.

Check for an adequate quantity of ice or other cooling media.

If not, a federally inspected supplier or directly from a fishing boat, check for the following at receipt:

  • an adequate quantity of ice or other cooling media
  • the time the fish were caught (from the vessel or supplier)
  • See * information below
1 Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guide, Third Edition, June 2001
* FDA Recommended HACCP Controls for Histamine - Quick reference
Secondary Processor
(Controls at receipt)
Transport records
(< 40 °F throughout transit)
ORAdequate Ice/cooling media
surrounding product at delivery
Processing/ Storage
Fresh (not previously frozen)Previously frozen
≤ 4 hrs @ > 40 °F if any exposure is > 70 °F≤ 12 hrs @ > 40 °F if any exposure is > 70 °F
≤ 8 hrs @ > 40 °F if NO exposure is > 70 °F≤ 24 hrs @ > 40 °F if NO exposure is > 70 °F
Table 3. Common Parasites in Seafood1
Parasites2Type of fish/species likely
to be used in menu items
that will not be cooked
Nematodes or roundworm
Cestodes or tapeworms
Trematodes or flukes
  • Sea bass
  • Capelin & roe
  • Cod
  • Flounder
    • Dab
    • Fluke
  • Grouper
  • Halibut
  • Herring
  • Jack
  • Jobfish
  • Kahawai
  • Mackerel
  • Monkfish
  • Mullet
  • Chilean Sea Bass
  • Ocean Perch
  • Plaice
  • Pollock
  • Rockfish
  • Sablefish
  • Salmon & roe (aquacultured and wild)
  • Seatrout
  • Sole
  • Sprat/Bristling
  • Trout/steelhead/rainbow
  • Tuna, small
  • Wolfish
Purchase from a processor, require the raw fish to have been:
  • Frozen and stored at -4 °F (-20 °C) or below for 7 days; or
  • Frozen at -31 °F (-35 °C) or below and stored at -31 °F (-35 °C) for 15 hours; or
  • Frozen at -31 °F (-35 °C) or below until solid and stored at -4 °F (-20 °C) for 24 hrs.
Freezing can be done in your operation if it is done in accordance with the Food Code, Chapter 3.
1Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guide, Third Edition, June 2001
2Some food products that have been implicated in human parasitic infection are: ceviche, salmon roe, green herring, undercooked grilled fish, lomi lomi, sashimi, drunken crabs, poisson cru, sushi, cold smoke fish

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