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Abstract

Background

The increasing demand for raw or undercooked fish products, supplied by both aquaculture and fisheries, raises concerns about the transmission risk to humans of zoonotic fish parasites. This has led to the current European Union (EU) Regulation No 1276/2011 amending Annex III of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 and mandating a freezing treatment of such products. Zoonotic parasites, particularly anisakid larvae, have been well documented in wild fish. Data on their presence in European aquaculture products, however, are still scarce, except for Atlantic salmon (), where the zoonotic risk was assessed as negligible, exempting it from freezing treatment.

Aim

To evaluate the zoonotic Anisakidae parasite risk in European farmed marine fish other than Atlantic salmon.

Methods

From 2016 to 2018 an observational parasitological survey was undertaken on 6,549 farmed fish including 2,753 gilthead seabream (), 2,761 European seabass () and 1,035 turbot () from 14 farms in Italy, Spain and Greece. Furthermore, 200 rainbow trout () sea-caged in Denmark, as well as 352 seabream and 290 seabass imported in Italy and Spain from other countries were examined. Fish were subjected to visual inspection and candling. Fresh visceral organs/fillet samples were artificially digested or UV pressed and visually examined for zoonotic anisakid larvae.

Results

No zoonotic parasites were found in any of the fish investigated.

Conclusions

The risk linked to zoonotic Anisakidae in the examined fish species from European mariculture appears negligible. This study laid the groundwork for considerations to amend the current EU regulation.

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/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2021.26.2.1900717
2021-01-14
2021-10-26
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2021.26.2.1900717
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