Sécurité sanitaire et qualité des aliments

Histamine Sampling Tool

Scombrotoxin fish poisoning (SFP), often called “histamine poisoning”, is caused by ingestion of certain species of marine fish that contain high levels of histamine and possibly other biogenic amines. The fish species involved contain high levels of free histidine in their tissue and include tuna and other pelagic species like mackerel, sardines, and anchovy. When these fish are subjected to temperature abuse (Generally higher than 25 °C for more than 6 hours or for longer at lower temperature) during and/or after harvest, bacterial decarboxylation of histidine leads to histamine formation.

FAO and WHO have developed a tool to support decision-making related to the establishment and/or 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.