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Botulism in "FISH"....

Discussion in 'Fish' started by daveomak, May 16, 2018.

  1. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One member has noted me as being "PARANOID" about botulism in fish..
    Well, I quote from regulations and articles from the FDA and their subset regulatory agencies...
    When processing "fish", I have, for the last several years taken steps to protect my family and friends by using cure#1 in my processes...
    IMO, when you purchase any "fish" at the market, there are no guarantees the viscera has not been compromised and safety steps should be taken...

    https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/UCM252416.pdf

    • Sources of C. botulinum
    C. botulinum can enter the process on raw
    materials. The spores of C. botulinum
    are very common. They have been found in the gills
    and viscera of finfish, crabs, and shellfish.
    C. botulinum type E is the most common form found
    in freshwater and marine environments. Types
    A and B are generally found on land but may
    also be occasionally found in water. It should be
    assumed that
    C. botulinum will be present in any
    raw fishery product
    , particularly in the viscera.
    Because spores are known to be present in the
    viscera, any product that will be preserved by
    salting, drying, pickling, or fermentation should
    be eviscerated prior to processing (see the
    “Compliance Policy Guide,” Sec. 540.650). Without
    evisceration, toxin formation is possible during the
    process, even with strict control of temperature.
    Evisceration of fish is the careful and complete
    removal of all internal organs in the body cavity
    without puncturing or cutting them, including
    gonads. If even a portion of the viscera or its
    contents is left behind, the risk of toxin formation
    by
    C. botulinum
    remains. Uneviscerated small
    fish, less than 5 inches in length (e.g., anchovies
    and herring sprats), for which processing eliminates
    preformed toxin, prevents toxin formation during
    processing and that reach a water phase salt
    content of 10% in refrigerated finished products,
    or a water activity of below 0.85 in shelf-stable
    finished products, or a pH of 4.6 or less in shelf-
    stable finished products, are not subject to the
    evisceration recommendation.
    Note: The water phase salt content of 10% is based on the control of
    C. botulinum
    type A and proteolytic types B and F.
    Note:
    The water activity value of below 0.85 is based on the
    minimum water activity for toxin production of
    S. aureus
     
  2. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Dave,

    The process used by most (from what i can tell) members here (salt only) prevents the formation of botulism toxin by the following hurdles: salting, refrigeration, drying, smoking, freezing, oxygen exposure.

    Probably none of these alone would achieve the goal but when combined they ensure a safe product.

    One indication this process works well is lack of food botulism poisoning cases originating in smoked fish. I looked at CDC numbers going back to 2007 - couldnt find a single case of botulism from smoked fish (not to be mixed with botulism cases from fish prepared with "traditional" methods - fermented whole etc).
     
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Morning Atomic... Are you indicating members should not take precautions when "preparing fishes" even though the FDA notes "botulinum will be present in any raw fishery product"
     
  4. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Now where did i say that? Precautions: salting, refrigerating, drying, smoking.

    The presence of spores alone mandates use of cure for fish smoking as much as it does for making aioli.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  5. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    This is why I ALWAYS use cure #1 when I make lox!
    Al
     
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Atomic, so you are saying "most" folks on this forum have 10% salt in their fish ...
    It is noted, a salt content of meats above 3.5-4% is close to inedible....
    Do you salt fish at 10% ???
     
  7. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't think anyone here salts lox at 10% wps. What members do, including those who use cure, is ensure the other hurdles are in place.


    You do know that even commercial producers don't use cure in cold smoked salmon.
     
  8. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Oh Dave, I think you are just being paranoid about somebody being paranoid about your paranoia's.
    I like to err on the bear side, don't eat nothin that isn't cooked.
    But then, I might be being paranoid.
    I think Paranormal beats being putrefied in a hole.
    Did paranoid come from being petrified to jump out of a perfectly good aireoplane with a parachute?

    I appreciate your posts of newsworthy problems plaguing the public.
     
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Atomic, seems cold smoked fish does need cure#1... unless you cold smoke and eat it all fresh... but for me, 3.5% salt would not be edible so, I'd have to use cure#1.. I can't test for water phase salt content either... so I'm screwed and must use cure...

    For cold process smoked fish to be vacuum or modified atmosphere packaged, only fish
    that have been brined to contain not less than 3.5% water phase salt in the loin muscle of
    the finished product or a combination of 3.0% water phase salt in the loin muscle of the
    finished product and not less than 100 ppm nor more than 200 ppm sodium nitrite may be
    used.
     
  10. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wps is tied to shelflife. 3% wps does not mean is not safe to eat. It means (in US) is not safe to keep in the fridge as long as the 3.5% wps smoked fish. Even in one of the recalls they told the consummer to eat immediately not toss in the trash.

    I am not trying to say don't use curein smoked fish. My point is botulism spores do not germinate that easy. If it did we would drop like flies.
     
  11. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    "I like to err on the bear side, don't eat nothin that isn't cooked"

    Sonny,
    You don't eat cold smoked salmon, salamis, dry cured meats? You are missing half of the fun.
     

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