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FSSAI re-operationalises regulations on formaldehyde in fish

19,November, 2020

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued an order to re-operationalise the regulations on standards prescribing the limits of naturally occurring formaldehyde in freshwater and marine fish.
According to the FSSAI, the process of notifying the draft regulations is taking some time and also in the meantime the food authority reviewed the list of the fish species and incorporated other species of fish in the list.
The regulations were re-operationalised with immediate effect and food businesses were asked to comply with the regulations.
The regulations were called FSS – Food Products Standards and Food Additives-Amendment Regulations 2020 and were first operationalised in February this year and operationalised subsequently in September.
The regulations specify the limit of naturally occurring formaldehyde in freshwater and marine fish and also hygienic conditions to be followed while handling, processing, manufacturing, packing, storing, distribution and transporting and retail of fish and fish products.
The marine fish were divided into two categories Group 1 have 7 fish species, one more than previous list and the formaldehyde limit is set at 8mg per kg max, Group 2 have 28 fish species against 22 in previous list wherein the limit of formaldehyde is set at 4mg per kg max.
The third category is Group III having names of freshwater fish species including all major exotic and minor carps, all other freshwater fishes, catfishes, crustaceans and molluscs. The limit of formaldehyde for this category is set at 4mg/kg max.
The FSSAI has also added that the limits were subjected to revision on the basis of data collected over different seasons and geographical locations.
“Upon analysis and recommendations by the scientific panel, the limit can be reviewed,” said an official with the FSSAI while adding that for fish and fish products of marine origin other than those mentioned in the table at Group I and II, the limit of naturally occurring formaldehyde shall not be more than 100ppm.

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