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      Assessment of Postharvest Practices of Tuna Sold at the Honiara Fish Market in the Solomon Islands


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          The study is aimed at assessing the impacts of postharvest handling practices on the quality and safety of tuna sold at the Honiara Fish Market (HFM), Solomon Islands. Two major approaches were adopted: (1) face-to-face interviews of 60 participants using questionnaires and physical observations of the supply chains and postharvest handling practices and (2) determination of time-temperature, quality index, histamine, and microbial load of tuna and contact surfaces. Sampling was conducted on both the wet season (WS) and dry season (DS), of which 36 samples from both batches of fresh tuna (FT) and brined tuna (BT) were analyzed. Three critical control points (CCPs) were identified in the supply chains of both FT and BT, where samples were obtained for scientific analyses. The average body temperature for WS tuna exposed for 9-10 h with low or no ice after catch was 3°C for FT and 15°C for BT, while DS samples were 26°C and 31°C for FT and BT, respectively. The quality index (QI) for WS showed a significant difference ( P < 0.05) at 0 for FT and 8 for BT, while both DS showed a significant increase at 16 for BT and 5 for FT. Histamine levels for all the samples increased across the three CCPs, however with levels <50 mg/L, while microbial load for both seasons and for both samples were within the required specifications. However, contact surfaces for both seasons revealed high levels of microbial contamination. This study reveals that poor handling practices along the tuna supply chains of fish sold at the HFM were observed; however, all the tuna was safe for consumption when cooked properly.

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          Most cited references53

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          Attribution of Foodborne Illnesses, Hospitalizations, and Deaths to Food Commodities by using Outbreak Data, United States, 1998–2008

          Each year, >9 million foodborne illnesses are estimated to be caused by major pathogens acquired in the United States. Preventing these illnesses is challenging because resources are limited and linking individual illnesses to a particular food is rarely possible except during an outbreak. We developed a method of attributing illnesses to food commodities that uses data from outbreaks associated with both simple and complex foods. Using data from outbreak-associated illnesses for 1998–2008, we estimated annual US foodborne illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths attributable to each of 17 food commodities. We attributed 46% of illnesses to produce and found that more deaths were attributed to poultry than to any other commodity. To the extent that these estimates reflect the commodities causing all foodborne illness, they indicate that efforts are particularly needed to prevent contamination of produce and poultry. Methods to incorporate data from other sources are needed to improve attribution estimates for some commodities and agents.
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            Histamine fish poisoning revisited.

            Histamine (or scombroid) fish poisoning (HFP) is reviewed in a risk-assessment framework in an attempt to arrive at an informed characterisation of risk. Histamine is the main toxin involved in HFP, but the disease is not uncomplicated histamine poisoning. Although it is generally associated with high levels of histamine (> or =50 mg/100 g) in bacterially contaminated fish of particular species, the pathogenesis of HFP has not been clearly elucidated. Various hypotheses have been put forward to explain why histamine consumed in spoiled fish is more toxic than pure histamine taken orally, but none has proved totally satisfactory. Urocanic acid, like histamine, an imidazole compound derived from histidine in spoiling fish, may be the "missing factor" in HFP. cis-Urocanic acid has recently been recognised as a mast cell degranulator, and endogenous histamine from mast cell degranulation may augment the exogenous histamine consumed in spoiled fish. HFP is a mild disease, but is important in relation to food safety and international trade. Consumers are becoming more demanding, and litigation following food poisoning incidents is becoming more common. Producers, distributors and restaurants are increasingly held liable for the quality of the products they handle and sell. Many countries have set guidelines for maximum permitted levels of histamine in fish. However, histamine concentrations within a spoiled fish are extremely variable, as is the threshold toxic dose. Until the identity, levels and potency of possible potentiators and/or mast-cell-degranulating factors are elucidated, it is difficult to establish regulatory limits for histamine in foods on the basis of potential health hazard. Histidine decarboxylating bacteria produce histamine from free histidine in spoiling fish. Although some are present in the normal microbial flora of live fish, most seem to be derived from post-catching contamination on board fishing vessels, at the processing plant or in the distribution system, or in restaurants or homes. The key to keeping bacterial numbers and histamine levels low is the rapid cooling of fish after catching and the maintenance of adequate refrigeration during handling and storage. Despite the huge expansion in trade in recent years, great progress has been made in ensuring the quality and safety of fish products. This is largely the result of the introduction of international standards of food hygiene and the application of risk analysis and hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) principles.
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              Methods to evaluate fish freshness in research and industry


                Author and article information

                Int J Food Sci
                Int J Food Sci
                International Journal of Food Science
                19 August 2023
                : 2023
                : 6594017
                1Department of Fisheries Studies, Solomon Islands National University, Solomon Islands
                2School of Applied Sciences, Fiji National University, Fiji
                3School of Agriculture, Geography, Environment, Oceans & Natural Resources, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji
                4Institute of Applied Sciences, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Alejandro Castillo

                Author information
                Copyright © 2023 Madeline Kili Solo et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 11 October 2022
                : 21 March 2023
                : 22 July 2023
                Research Article


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