Fish and Fishery Products

Image of various fish

Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products
(Host Government Norway)

The Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products (CCFFP) is responsible for elaborating standards for fresh and frozen fish, crustaceans, and molluscs.

Existing Codex Standards

Codex standards on Fish and Fishery Products already adopted into the international food code include:

  • Canned Crab Meat
  • Canned Fish
  • Canned Finfish
  • Canned Tuna and Bonito
  • Canned Salmon
  • Canned Shrimps or Prawns
  • Crabs
  • Dried Shark Fins
  • Fish Portions and Fish Fillets-Breaded or in Batter
  • Flesh and Mixtures of Fish Fillets and Minced Fish Flesh
  • Fresh Fish
  • Frozen Fish
  • Lobsters and Quick Frozen Lobsters
  • Method of Checking Product Temperature of Quick Frozen Foods
  • Minced Fish prepared by Mechanical Separation
  • Molluscan Shellfish
  • Processing and Handling of Quick Frozen Foods
  • Quick Frozen Blocks of Fish Fillets, Minced Fish
  • Quick Frozen Fish Fillets and Quick Frozen Raw Squid
  • Quick Frozen Finfish, Eviscerated or Uneviscerated
  • Quick Frozen Fish Sticks (Fish Fingers)
  • Quick Frozen Shrimp or Prawns
  • Salted Fish
  • Salted Fish and Dried Salted Fish of the Gadidae Family of Fishes
  • Sardines and Sardine-Type Products
  • Sensory Evaluation of Fish and Shellfish in Laboratories
  • Shrimps or Prawns and Quick Frozen Shrimps or Prawns
  • Smoked Fish 

* This is an indicative list only. For a full list of standards approved by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, please consult its Official List of Standards

Last Meeting

The 33rd Session of the Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products was held in Bergen, Norway from 17-21 February 2014.

Matters for Adoption

The Committee:

  • advanced to Step 8, the Draft Performance Criteria for Methods for the Determination Marine Biotoxins in the Standard for Live and Raw Bivalve Molluscs (Section I-8.6 Determination of Biotoxins) (para. 23, Appendix II);
  • advanced to Step 8, the Draft Standard for Fresh and Quick Frozen Raw Scallop Products (para. 57, Appendix III).
  • advanced to Step 5 the Proposed Draft Code of Practice for Processing of Fish Sauce (para. 93, Appendix IV);
  • forwarded the amendments to the food additive provisions in several standards for fish and fishery products (para. 106, Appendix VI).

Other Matters of Interest to the Commission

The Committee agreed:

  • to return the Proposed Draft Code of Practice on the Processing of Fresh and Quick Frozen Raw Scallop Products to Step 3 for comments and further discussion at the next session (para. 61, Appendix V);
  • to return to Step 2/3 for redrafting, comments and further discussion at the next session, the Proposed Draft Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products (section on sturgeon caviar) (para. 73); and
  • to discontinue further work on food additive provisions in the Standard for Smoked Fish, Smoke- Flavoured Fish and Smoke-Dried Fish (para. 34);
  • the appendices to the Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products would not be sent for adoption as part of the Code, and to request comments on the integration of essential safety or quality aspects into the Code (para.132); to continue consideration of histamine from fish and fishery products (paras 109-117); to delete the table for nitrogen factors and the uniform procedure to determine nitrogen factors for use with the chemical method from section 7.4 of the Standard for Quick Frozen Fish Sticks (Fish Fingers), Fish Portions and Fish Fillets – Breaded or in Batter (CODEX STAN 166-1989) and to consider further amendments to section 7.4 (paras 118-124); and a new proposal on a standard for Pirarucú (para. 133) at its next session.

Matters of interest to Other Committees and Task Forces

Committee on Food Additives (CCFA)

In the Standard for Smoked Fish, Smoke-Flavoured Fish and Smoke-Dried Fish, the Committee agreed to refer only to tartaric acid [L+]; to replace the provisions for dextrin roasted starch (INS 1400) and polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monooleate (INS 433) by a reference to the Guidelines for the Use of Flavourings (CAC/GL 66-2008) and sodium erythrobate (INS 316) with sodium isoascorbate as recommended; and to request CCFA to remove Brilliant Blue (INS 133) for use in smoked fish from the GSFA as there was no technological justification for its use in smoked fish (paras 26-29 and para. 34).

The Committee agreed to present the food additives in the Draft Standard for Fresh and Quick Frozen Raw Scallop Products in a tabular format in line with the proposal of CCFA and to inform CCFA that phosphates were widely used and technologically justified for quick frozen products (para.46).

Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS)

The Committee agreed to not proceed with developing sampling plans for the Standard for Live Abalone and for Raw, Fresh Chilled or Frozen Abalone for Direct Consumption or for Further Processing and the Standard for Smoked Fish, Smoke-Flavoured Fish and Smoke-Dried Fish; and the Draft Standard for Fresh and Quick Frozen Raw Scallop Products for the moment and to request CCMAS to provide guidance on what is expected from CCFFP to include or consider in sampling plans for quality parameters or for CCMAS to provide proposed sampling plans for consideration by CCFFP (para. 8).

The Committee agreed to inform CCMAS that it had excluded information on Toxicity Equivalent Factors (TEFs) in the criteria for determining marine biotoxins (Section I-8.6 Determination of Biotoxins in the Standard for Live and Raw Bivalve Molluscs) because the reliability and validity of TEFs are the subject of much discussion, particularly the TEFs of the saxitoxin group, for which more than one set of TEFs are in use (para. 24).

Matters for FAO

The Committee proposed that FAO make available Toxicity Equivalent Factors for use in a form that could be easily updated (paras 17-19); to house the table for nitrogen factors and the procedure to obtain data as a basis of nitrogen factors on the FAO website (paras 120-123); and to consider disseminating trade related information on fish and fishery products (paras 129-130).

Report from this meeting

Next Meeting

The 34th Session of the Committee will be held in approximately 18 months subject to confirmation by the host government and the Codex Secretariat.

The agenda for this meeting

Related Links

AQIS Seafood Export Consultative Committee
Seafood Services Australia

Last reviewed:
13 Mar 2014