ARCHIVED - CFIA Monitoring of Nitroimidazoles in Aquacultured Products

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September 12, 2012

To: All licensed fish importers and federally registered fish processors

Subject: CFIA Monitoring of Nitroimidazoles in Aquacultured Products

The purpose of this notice is to advise that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will be adding nitroamidazoles to our monitoring program for aquacultured fish and crustaceans. This is part of our ongoing aim to maintain effective monitoring for therapeutant use in aquaculture.

As of October 1, 2012, the CFIA will begin testing aquacultured fish and crustaceans for nitroimidazoles, in addition to the therapeutants it currently tests. According to the Food and Drug Regulations, nitroimidazoles are banned for sale and use in animals intended for consumption as food. Aquacultured products containing nitroimidazoles residues are in violation of the Fish Inspection Regulations and the Food and Drugs Act. The CFIA will take appropriate regulatory action on non-compliant products.

Importers and domestic processors are reminded of their legal responsibility to ensure that the aquacultured fish and fish products they import or process meet Canadian regulatory requirements. Importers and processors are encouraged to communicate with their suppliers regarding therapeutant use in aquaculture products they market and maintain updated product specifications described in buyer-seller agreements and/or Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans. Quality Management Program (QMP) Importers and processors should ensure that their QMP plan is updated appropriately to include the monitoring of this additional therapeutant.

For further information on Canadian requirements related to therapeutant use in aquaculture, please refer to the CFIA - Fish Products Standards and Methods Manual - Appendix 1.

If you have any further questions, please contact your local CFIA office.


Terence McRae
Director, Fish, Seafood and Production Division
Agrifood, Meat and Seafood Safety Directorate
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

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