Health for humans, animals & plants

Microbiology and contaminants in tuna products.

Final Report of Priority Action A-015-19

The aim of the focus action was to check tuna products for their contaminant content and hygiene status. 71 samples from all over Austria were examined.

  • No samples were objected to

The contaminants lead and cadmium in tuna products were present only in toxicologically harmless quantities.

In the AGES topic report "Intake of mercury via food", the importance of fish and seafood as main intake sources for mercury is pointed out. Mercury is mainly found in predatory fish (e.g. tuna, shark, swordfish, halibut). Especially the organic form, methylmercury, is considered to be mainly responsible for possible adverse effects in the central nervous system in humans. As part of this priority action, tuna products were analyzed for their mercury or methylmercury content.

The histamine content of the canned tuna examined complied with the legal requirements. When protein-rich foods spoil, amino acids (e.g. histidine) are converted by microorganisms into biogenic amines, e.g. histamine. High levels of these substances may be present, especially in perishable foods such as fish. Histamine ingested via food can lead to allergy-like symptoms, depending on the sensitivity of the individual. High intake levels can also lead to so-called histamine poisoning (including burning in the mouth, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, circulatory failure).

Last updated: 18.07.2022

automatically translated

Jump to top