Health for humans, animals & plants

Biogenic amines in raw tuna from the catering industry

Final report of the priority action A-022-17

The aim of this focus action was to test perishable, protein-rich foods such as raw fish, for biogenic amines. 37 samples from all over Austria were examined:

  • Three samples were unsuitable for human consumption
  • Six samples showed slight hygiene deficiencies

When protein-rich foods such as fish spoil, so-called biogenic amines, especially histamine, can be produced. Histamine ingested via food can lead to allergy-like symptoms (e.g. skin redness, itching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, palpitations, etc.) depending on the sensitivity of the person. If a lot of histamine is ingested, this can also lead to so-called histamine poisoning (including burning in the mouth, abdominal pain, circulatory failure). It is irrelevant whether the product was heated or ingested raw, as histamine is heat-stable.

Last updated: 18.07.2022

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