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Public Bodies Promote Seafood Safety

23 January 2012, at 12:00am

CHILE - With a tour of the stalls in Caleta Portales, various public services that oversee the sale of fishery products participated in the launch of the "Choose Cuidarte: Seafood Consumption Insurance" of the Ministry of Health.

The activity, held at the Caleta Portales of Valparaiso, was organised by the Health Seremi and was attended by representatives of the Navy of Chile, the PDI and the National Marine Fisheries Service, who distributed educational materials to tenants and consumers who moved around the fishing port.

During the visit, Sernapesca issued warnings and recommendations to tenants regarding compliance with health standards and the marketing of fisheries products, such as maintaining the cold chain and respect for the closures minimum sizes.

After the activity, the Health Seremi Valparaiso, Jaime Rojas Jamett, explained that: "The audit also has a strong component of education for the people: we are promoting the safe use of seafood, providing information to people who shop at these places, particularly adequate consumption: seafood boil and remember that lemon does not cook the food, and one of the most important things is that the stores keep the cold chain."

The ministerial secretary said that in 2011 15 per cent of the 800 cases of poisoning detected in the region were due to consumption of seafood, which represents the second most common cause of poisoning after eggs with salmonella.

Regarding the audit, Mr Jamett said: "We have verified that sanitary conditions are regular, though in some places the existence of sales that are completely outside the range allowed were discovered and we will act in result in the coming days."

Sernapesca Regional Director, Soledad Tapia Almonacid said that they were encouraging customers to identify seafood which was outside size regulations or that should currently be banned. They were therefore advised not to buy these products.

Also, the fisheries authorities recalled that traders who do not comply with these measures can be assigned to offenses ranging from 3 to 300 UTM, depending on the quantity of the resource in addition to the closure of the premises, and even (in the case of crimes) to imprisonment for offenders.

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