Histamine

Histamine may develop in some species of seafood. Its presence is controlled by legislation.

Seafood Maximum permitted level

Fishery product from fish species associated with a high amount of histidine

Nine samples should be taken, of which:

  • The average histamine content 100mg/kg or less
  • No more than two samples may have levels between 100mg and 200mg/kg; and
  • No sample may have a level above 200mg/kg

Fishery products which have undergone enzyme maturation treatment in brine, manufactured from fish species associated with a high amount of histidine

Nine samples should be taken, of whch:

  • The average histamine content must be 200mg/kg or less
  • No more than two samples may have levels between 200mg and 400mg/kg; and
  • No sample may have a level above 400mg/kg

Fish sauce produced by fermentation of fishery products

One sample to be taken. Its histamine content should not exceed 400mg/kg.

More information can be found in regulation 853/2004, and the methods used for determining histamine levels are described in 2073/2005.

Fish species associated with a high amount of histidine include those of the families Scombridae (mackerel, tuna, bonito), Clupeidae (herring, sardine), Engraulidae (anchovy), Coryphaenidae (mahi mahi), Pomatomidae (bluefish) and Scomberesocidae (saury).