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Freezing for parasite control in farmed Atlantic salmon reared in Ireland

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

A recent review was carried out by the FSAI and the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority of the requirement to freeze farmed Atlantic salmon reared in Ireland for reasons of parasite control.

The review looked at:

  • changes to legislation that have taken place since the original requirement to freeze was introduced
  • The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Scientific Opinion on risk assessment of parasites in fishery products

In reviewing the changes to the legislation and the risk assessment, it was concluded that where farmed Atlantic salmon reared in Ireland are reared in floating cages or onshore tanks, and where they are fed compound feedstuffs, which are unlikely to contain live parasites, then the risk of infection with larval anisakids is negligible. Based on this review, a parasite freezing exemption is now deemed to apply to farmed Atlantic salmon reared in Ireland.

If farmed Atlantic salmon reared in Ireland meets the requirements of the amended regulation namely:

  • the fishery product is derived from Atlantic salmon reared in Ireland; and
  • is cultured from embryos fed exclusively on a diet that cannot contain viable parasites that present a health hazard; and,
  • is exclusively reared in an environment that is free from viable parasites,

then there is no requirement to freeze it for parasite control and any freezing must be appropriately declared on the labelling or as part of the communication to consumers at the point of sale.

For further information, please visit the following links: