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If the following fish and fishery products are to be consumed n their natural form or have not undergone pro­cessing techniques which re­sult in adequate killing of parasites they have to be fro-/en for at-least 24 hours at a core temperature of -20°C or less.

a) Fish which is eaten raw or like young herring (mat je herring), quasi raw;

b) Herring, mackerel, sprat, wild Atlantic and Pacific salmon, provided a temperature   of less than +60°C is reached during smo­king;

c)  Salted fish, if the chosen processing technique does not involve at least 20 g table salt/ 100 g fish tissue fluid for a storage pe­riod of at least 21 days or 15 g table salt / 100 g fish tissue fluid for a storage period of at least 28 days or. if processing includes sugar (anchosen), 12 g table salt / 100 g fish tissue fluid for a storage period of at least 35 days;

d)  Marinated fish, if the chosen processing technique does not take at least 35 days and after this time the fish tissue fluid does not have a pH value of over 4.2, acid content of at least 2.4 g / 100 g and table salt content of least 6 g / 100g.

Producers have to make sure that the products and raw ma­terials they use are processed as above prior to their sale. Fishery products have to be accompanied by a producer's certificate stating the type of processing involved.

 In order to ensure that fishery products are harmless to con­sumer health the EU has defi­ned minimum requirements to be observed during the hand­ling of fishery products. The­se are mainly laid down in the following:

-  Council Directive 91/ 493/ EEC of 22 July 1991 laying down the health conditions for the production  and the placing on the market of fishery products (Fish Hygiene Regulation) Council   Directive   92A48/ EEC of 16 June 1991 laying down the minimum hygiene rules  applicable to  fishery products caught on board certain vessels in accordance with Article 3(1) (a) (1) of Directive 91/493/EEC

These two EU directives re­present a standard which has in the meantime become ef­fective beyond the borders of the European Union, for ex­ample in Eastern Europe. They form the legal basis of the requirements to be obser­ved when handling fishery products during their arrival at a company, during produc­tion, packaging and storage as well as transport and waste disposal, all of which will be discussed in this and the fol­lowing instalments of our 'Guide to Hygiene' series.

Although the quality of fish products is already influenced before their arrival at a com­pany, i.e. during the catch, we have chosen not to include fishing methods, the handling and storage of fish on board the fishing vessel or during landing in this article. Neither will we deal with the special to be observed when handling molluscs. Basically, the same hygiene standards apply in these on-shore companies.

The following factors have an impact on the quality and hygiene of fishery products:

Diagram1: Factors impacting hygiene and quality.

Diagram 2 shows factors which could have a negative impact on fishery products:

Diagram 2: Negative impacts during the handling of fishery products temperature is an important factor which can have wide-scale influence. Excessive temperatures can lead to the rapid reproduction of organisms present in the product so that the product spoils.

Maintaining the 'right' tempe­rature is a matter of funda­mental    importance    when handling incoming products. Chilled, unpackaged products which are not distributed, dispatched, prepared or pro­cessed immediately after their arrival at the plant must be kept cool using ice in chilling rooms. The ice must be replaced with new ice as required.

Diagram 3: Ice replacement

Diagram 4: Fish well packed in ice.

            As a rule fishery pr to be stored at a ten of between +2°C (chilled products) (frozen products), hery products are I at a maximum of - neath melting ice.