New tool to support the control of a well-known food safety problem

Histamine in fish and fishery products

FAO and WHO implemented a joint Expert Meeting on the Public Health Risks of Histamine and other Biogenic Amines from Fish and Fishery Products in Rome in 2012, to support the ongoing work of the Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery products (CCFFP) to provide risk management guidance for the control of histamine. One of the recommendations of that expert meeting was to develop a tool to support risk managers in their efforts to sample for histamine. 

Recognizing the need for food safety managers to have access to practical tools,  FAO and WHO have now developed a user-friendly tool to support decision-making related to the establishment and use of sampling plans for detection of histamine. The tool provides support in two main areas related to sampling for histamine:

Designing a Sampling Plan

  • This tool function attempts to find sampling plans which meet user-defined objectives, by searching for combinations of the number of samples (n) and a concentration threshold (m).

Analyzing the performance of a Sampling Plan

  • This tool function estimates the probability of accepting lots of product tested according to a user-defined sampling plan.

The FAO/WHO histamine sampling plan tool (www.fstools.org/histamine) is a free resource available to national authorities and the fisheries industry to support the development of appropriate sampling plans.