The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued draft guidance for industry, titled, “Reconditioning of Fish and Fishery Products by Segregation.” This draft guidance explains two potential approaches to separating non-violative portions of fish and fishery products from portions that are adulterated due to pathogens, unlawful animal drugs, scombrotoxin (histamine), or decomposition. The two approaches to reconditioning adulterated fish and fishery products, described in the draft guidance, are:
Segregation based on a production-related rationale supported by production records identifying the cause of the adulteration and its restriction to only a portion of the article along with sampling and testing to confirm that the segregation was successful; or
Segregation based on the results of statistically significant sampling and testing.
These approaches can be used if they satisfy the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations but do not apply when reconditioning is proposed by means other than segregation, such as be cooking or conversion to animal feed, according to FDA (84 Federal Register 48935). Although, the Agency cautions that anyone introducing, delivering, or receiving fish and fishery products in interstate commerce is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the food is safe and complies with all applicable laws and regulations.