The Australian Government has introduced new rules on the use of aquatic products and processors, including restrictions on the production of aquatic foods and fish products.
The new rules mean that producers of aquatic food and fish can’t use the fish or aquatic products in their products, or send them to customers.
The rules will apply to aquaculture processors, processors that supply fish to a wholesale fish supply company, and to processors of seafood products in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.
Under the new rules, fish processors are required to:Require all fish produced by the processor to be tested and certified for toxicity, or have their levels of toxins tested and verified by a recognised laboratory.
Require the processor’s products to be labelled with a product name that indicates they are from an approved source.
Requiring the processor and its suppliers to notify the Australian Food and Drug Administration of any adverse reactions to their products.
Requires processors to ensure that all of their fish products are certified by a licensed laboratory.
If the processor is a wholesale source, the new rule requires the processor, in writing, to provide the FDA with all relevant information about any adverse reaction to their product to the FDA.
The Australian Government is also proposing to introduce a new requirement that aquaculturists supplying aquacultural products to a processor of seafood must be able to contact the processor directly.
The Aquaculture Commission will be asked to develop a regulatory framework to address these new requirements.
“The new regulations will ensure that producers can be confident that their fish and seafood products meet Australia’s strict standards,” Environment Minister Mark Butler said.
“This is an important step to ensure the safety and quality of Australian seafood, and we will continue to work with the industry to ensure it is safe.”
The Aquafood Industry Association said the new regulations were “an important step in ensuring the safety of our supply chain, while also ensuring the Australian seafood industry can continue to grow and thrive”.
“The Australian Aquafuddies Aquacultured Seafood Group is pleased to see the Australian Government taking this important step towards a responsible seafood industry,” it said.
The Government’s announcement comes after the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations issued a report in February, recommending that Australia adopt the guidelines introduced in February.
In February, the Government released a list of 11 food and agricultural products that meet the “minimum standards” required to be safe for human consumption.
The list included:All beef, pork and lamb, and poultry including chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and wild game.
All dairy products, including milk, cream and yoghurt.
The guidelines came after a series of public health and safety scares, including a case of a man with the measles who had eaten frozen beef at his local pub.
The new requirements come just weeks after the Government also announced a $15 million commitment to support aquaccentrically grown seafood.