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NZ Land Based Aquaculture Products All-Clear

NEW ZEALAND - Imported land-based aquaculture products such as shrimp, prawns and crabs that were tested by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) as part of a new survey contained no detectable levels of residues from antimicrobial drugs.

The survey was part of NZFSA’s Food Residue Surveillance Programme (FRSP) to ensure New Zealand’s food safety controls are working effectively and that those selling food meet their legal responsibilities to ensure it is safe, says Dr Paul Dansted, NZFSA Principal Advisor (Chemicals).

“NZFSA tested 30 random samples of imported land based aquaculture products (ILBA) from Thailand, Vietnam, India, Japan, China and Peru for the presence of triphenylmethylene dyes, nitrofurans, chloramphenicol, sulfonamides, and tetracyclines,” Dr Dansted says.

“These chemicals are sometimes used in land-based aquaculture to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus.

“No residues were detected. This gives us confidence that the products being sold in New Zealand meet requirements and are safe to consume.”

The survey was designed to accurately reflect New Zealand’s recent history of imported land-based aquaculture products.

It was carried out with the co-operation of the New Zealand Customs Service and Auckland Regional Public Health Service’s Auckland Central Clearing House, which coordinated the sampling process at the border.

NZFSA last sampled land-based aquaculture products from China in July 2007. The few samples that did have residues were at very low levels with no risk to health.

Dr Dansted says the latest round of monitoring is additional to NZFSA’s routine checks on high risk goods, which are tested at the border to ensure any products that do not meet New Zealand standards are not sold here.

Further Reading

- View the results of this survey by clicking here.