Fish products are controlled in terms of hygiene by the Veterinary Division of the Ministry of Agriculture. Principal controls are present to prevent human health problems, but control of feeds for fish is also undertaken.
Control is present over both imported and locally produced products.
Dead fish imports are only allowed into Greece from certain countries, and the majority of supplies are imported from Morocco and Turkey. Basic health certification is necessary from some countries. Ministry personnel have to be present when such products are discharged from boats and frontier control of certification is carried out. Police veterinarians are always on duty in fish markets and check the general quality and appearance of stocks and may seize samples of suspect material.
Regulations are in existence for methods of transport of fish products, temperature and duration of storage, etc. Random checks are also made for antimicrobial residues, bacterial flora, etc. Present regulations on allowable bacterial flora exist from the 1950s and 1960s and are now out of date, but details of new requirements for such specifications have now been received from the EEC, and Mr. Georgiou of the Athens Veterinary Laboratory is coordinating the development of new legislation to comply with EEC guidelines. Tests are also carried out on exported products by the Athens laboratory for certification purposes. The Government gazette of November 1978 (Art. 786) establishes the nomenclature for edible marine and freshwater products, defines the norms for inspection by category, stipulates regulations for hygiene, preservation, packing, transport; certification forms are annexed relating to: export of fresh crustaceans, frozen fish, canned products, and also landings at major sites (for completion by inspectors).
Pelleted foods for fish are imported without any particular restrictions but these feeds will be investigated should a problem arise with a suspect nutritional cause. Such diets may also be checked for the presence of Salmonella in terms of risks to human health. Medicated diets cannot be imported.
Veterinary surgeons specifically employed with a laboratory role in controlling fish products for the Veterinary Division of the Ministry of Agriculture are present in Athens, Thessaloniki and Kavala.
Adequate control appears to be present and no specific recommendations for improvement are made in this report.