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A peep into rigorous Japanese system



The Japanese method of testing fish is much more rigorous and comprehensive, as it insists on microbiological testing.

They have an elaborate protocol and mechanism set for ensuring seafood safety; the Japanese not only test the fish for chemicals and bacteria but also for pesticides.

The microbiological testing is done to detect pathogenic bacteria (Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli) or indicator organisms of faecal pollution (faecal coliforms, fecal streptococci) or other types of general contamination or poor handling practices (coliform bacteria, faecal streptococci, total viable count).

“The hazard analysis for these products is fairly straightforward and uncomplicated. The live animals are caught in the sea, handled and processed without any use of additives or chemical preservatives and finally distributed with icing or freezing as the only means of preservation. Contamination with pathogenic bacteria from the human/animal reservoir can occur when the landing

place is unhygienic or when the fish are washed with contaminated water,” states the quality assurance document of Japan.

The Japanese government has set legal limits for hazardous substances in fish and fishery production: the limit has been set for Mercury, Dieldrin (including aldrin), pesticide, paralytic shellfish poison, and Diarrhetic shellfish poison.

Japan has an extensive monitoring and control system to provide an assurance of fish quality to its citizens.

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