A case study on the development of representative sampling procedure to determine mercury levels in a lot of tuna caught by static trap

  • Pierluigi Piras | pirasp@tiscali.it Health Protection Service of Sardinia, Southern Prevention Department, Cagliari, Italy.
  • Antonio Assaretti Health Protection Service of Sardinia, Southern Prevention Department, Cagliari, Italy.
  • Gianuario Fiori Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology Laboratory, Zooprophylactic Institute of Sardinia, Sassari, Italy.
  • Andrea Sanna Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology Laboratory, Zooprophylactic Institute of Sardinia, Sassari, Italy.
  • Giannina Chessa Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology Laboratory, Zooprophylactic Institute of Sardinia, Sassari, Italy.

Abstract

Mercury contamination in fish products, and in large pelagic predatory fish in particular, is a remarkable food safety issue that affects fish industry. A lot made up by Bluefin tunas caught at Porto Paglia − in the south-western coast of Sardinia − was subject to several sessions of fish meat official sampling, as disputable results of mercury level determination suggested a potential non-compliance to maximum allowable limit. Local competent Veterinary Service reviewed the sampling procedure introducing more rigorous details including the identification of a specific muscular portion as sampling site, after having taken into account both statutory provisions laid down by Regulation (EC) No 333/2007 and available scientific evidence on variables affecting uneven distribution of mercury across tuna carcasses. This case-study aims to provide an initial contribution in order to ensure an appropriate and representative field sampling protocol of tuna lots that are to be analysed for mercury content.

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Published
2019-12-05
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Section
Original Articles
Keywords:
Bluefin tunas, Fish meat sampling, Mercury determination
Statistics
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How to Cite
Piras, P., Assaretti, A., Fiori, G., Sanna, A., & Chessa, G. (2019). A case study on the development of representative sampling procedure to determine mercury levels in a lot of tuna caught by static trap. Italian Journal of Food Safety, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2019.8165