Every three years SafeFish reviews its technical work program to help provide the best outcomes for the seafood industry. The review involves identifying existing and emerging food safety, trade and market access issues and prioritising them to form a new work program that addresses these issues. Full prioritisation processes were facilitated in 2011, 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2022 with smaller processes undertaken in the interim years. The full review raises awareness of issues of importance to the seafood industry with funders; forms a priority listing for future SafeFish work; and encourages researchers and funders to address the issues.
The objectives of the process are to:
- Scan all food safety and trade and market access issues impacting, or likely to impact, the Australian seafood industry (both current and emerging)
- Rank these risks against a set of agreed criteria
- Determine the work program for SafeFish from the list of issues identified as a high priority.
This most recent prioritisation workshop was held in Adelaide in July 2022. Background information and context were provided on each issue of concern. At the workshop, the issues were ranked on risk to trade and market access, public health, regulatory, economic, and reputational impacts (media and political), and environmental and sustainability issues. The final session of the workshop discussed the potential projects and research that could be undertaken to address high priority concerns.
The highest priority concerns that will form the 2022-2025 SafeFish work program are:
- The impacts from Ready-to-eat (RTE) seafood due to changing consumer preferences with a focus on Listeria monocytogenes
- Chemical contaminants
- Vibrios in seafood
Micro and nano plastics in seafood and ciguatera will continue to be monitored as watching briefs until the point where there is a research need (with respect to plastics), or where research can be progressed (in the case of ciguatera as currently COVID-19 is delaying the progression of the SafeFish ciguatera health care workers survey).
For more information about this research, please visit our Current Technical Research section