Several control activities are carried out, like audit of producers’ own check system, inspection and spot checks, sampling and analyses for monitoring or verification. The monitoring programme on fish feed contributes significantly to the overview of undesirable substances in Norwegian farmed fish, which in turn is important in assessing food safety.
Official control of the fish feed production carried out by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority in 2012 concluded that feed production in general is safe and in compliance with the rules and regulation of the field. This ensures safe feed and safe food for the consumers. The main fish feed producers in Norway are all part of international concerns and have a long tradition of fulfilling demands of different certifications, and the inspections of fish feed producers showed very few non-conformances. Audits showed that the distribution of liability and responsibility is clear between the corporate headquarters and the different production facilities.
On behalf of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) coordinates an annual monitoring programme of undesirable substances in feed and feed materials for fish and other aquatic animals. The programme has been in operation since 1996. Monitoring of undesirable substances in fish feed is important as fish feed is the main source of contaminants in farmed fish. The fish feed monitoring programme is an important part of the overall control system.
Sampling and analyses under the fish feed monitoring programme
Feed materials, feed additives and compound feed are sampled and analysed in accordance with a scheduled test plan each year. The samples are analysed for prohibited feed materials, including genetically modified (GM) materials, microbiological parameters, such as Salmonella, Enterobacteriaceae and mould, undesirable substances, such as mycotoxins, pesticides, organic contaminants and heavy metals, and additives, including colourants, antioxidants and essential micronutrients. In addition, analyses related to reliability in trade are carried out, including agreement between declared content and analysed content of protein, fat, water/dry matter and ashes.
Laboratory analyses are carried out by NIFES in collaboration with public and private laboratories. The annual report, with the results of the monitoring and the enterprises monitored, is published on the website of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and NIFES (available in Norwegian only). The 2012 NIFES report from the annual monitoring programme for feed can be found here: http://www.nifes.no/file.php?id=2099
Feed producers are required to have a comprehensive internal control system, including monitoring of Salmonella. This has occasionally detected certain types of Salmonella in fish feed which is reported in the annual zoonosis report (Zoonosis Report 2011). These Salmonella types do not become established in the fish and the risk of Salmonella in contaminated fish feed being passed on to the consumer via seafood products is considered negligible. Regardless, it is prohibited to sell compound feed containing Salmonella.
The results from the official control, including the monitoring programme show that Norwegian fish feed are produced in compliance with applicable legislation and do not represent a hazard to animal health, human health or the environment.