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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Scientific Opinion on assessment of epidemiological data in relation to the health risks resulting from the presence of parasites in wild caught fish from fishing grounds in the Baltic Sea

Andreoletti, Olivier; Budka, Herbert; Buncic, Sava; Collins, John D; Griffin, John; Hald, Tine; Havelaar, Arie H; Hope, James; Klein, Gunter; Koutsoumanis, Kostas; McLauchlin, James; Muller, Graf Christine; Nguyen, The Christophe; Nörrung, Birgit; Peixe, Luisa; Prieto, Maradona Miguel; Ricci, Antonia; Sofos, John; Threlfall, John; Vanopdenbosch, Emmanuel; Vågsholm, Ivar
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For fishery products caught from fishing grounds in the Baltic Sea, four groups of viable parasites present possible health risks, Anisakis simplex (sensu stricto), Contracaecum osculatum (sensu stricto), Pseudoterranova decipiens (sensu stricto) and Diphyllobothrium spp. Since A. simplex and Pseudoterranova decipiens have been found in fishery products in International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) subdivisions 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, public health risks due to the presence of these parasites cannot be excluded in any fishery products caught from these areas. Migrating fish from areas where A. simplex, and to a lesser degree P. decipiens, occur may carry these parasites and reach the northern Baltic, therefore, public health risks due to parasites in all migrating fish (including salmon) in Baltic Sea cannot be excluded. C. osculatum occurs in fish throughout all areas of the Baltic Sea. However, at present it is not possible to assess the public health importance of viable C. osculatum larvae in fishery products. Diphyllobothrium spp. occurs in fish species in brackish waters of Baltic Sea. Hence all freshwater fish as well as migrating fish, including sea trout and whitefish, are of public health importance if consumed raw, since they may carry viable parasites. More research is needed to elucidate the importance of C. osculatum from fish as a source of human infection, including pathogenicity of this parasite and the anatomic distribution of the parasite in edible parts of the fish. In order to definitively identify species of anisakids, genetic/molecular methods should be more widely applied to material from all hosts of the Baltic Sea. Surveillance of anisakiasis and other parasitic infections in the human population in Baltic Sea countries should be improved


Fishery products; parasites; biological hazards; Baltic Sea

Published in

EFSA Journal
2011, volume: 9, number: 7, article number: 2320
Publisher: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

Authors' information

Andreoletti, Olivier
Budka, Herbert
Buncic, Sava
Collins, John D
Griffin, John
Hald, Tine
Havelaar, Arie H
Hope, James
Klein, Gunter
Koutsoumanis, Kostas
McLauchlin, James
Muller Graf, Christine
Nguyen The, Christophe
Nörrung, Birgit
Peixe, Luisa
Prieto Maradona, Miguel
Ricci, Antonia
Sofos, John
Threlfall, John
Vanopdenbosch, Emmanuel
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UKÄ Subject classification

Food Science
Animal and Dairy Science
Fish and Aquacultural Science
Veterinary Science

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