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Spain Refuses Yellowfin From PNG For Poor Temperature Control European Union, September 4, 13

Frozen yellowfin tuna distributed from Papua New Guinea was notified to the EU rapid alert system by the Spanish health authorities, who reported that there had been poor temperature control of the tuna.

Spain refused the PNG product at the border which meant that the yellowfin did not reach the market. Spanish authorities reported that the yellowfin had been stored between -7.3 and -11.3 degrees Celsius. High risk foods such as raw fish should be kept at temperatures near to -15 degrees. It is unclear from the alert information whether this defect was caused by the Spanish storage keeper at the transit area of port or was the result of problems with the cooling system of arriving the reefer containers.

Furthermore, a tuna salad product exported from Belgium has been removed from the market after authorities in Luxembourg reported the presence of bacillus cereus to the EU rapid alert system.

Bacillus cereus is a bacterium that can be harmful to humans and cause foodborne illness. The notification of “bacillus cereus (>150000 CFU/g) in tuna salad from Belgium” has been marked with the distribution status “product (presumably) no longer on the market.”

Also France issued a notification to the EU rapid alert system regarding bluefin tuna imported from Italy. The reported irregularity was the presence of a potentially harmful substance, “dioxins (1.053 pg WHO TEQ/g).”

According to the World Health Organization dioxins can be highly toxic and cause reproductive and developmental problems, while also having the potential to affect the immune system. However, out of the 419 types of dioxin-related compounds identified, only 30 are considered to have significant toxicity.

Authorities in France took no further action other than the notification, and the bluefin tuna was marked as “product (presumably) no longer on the market.”