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SFPA Reminds Seafood Business Operators of Obligations Under Animal By-Products Regulations

SFPA Reminds Seafood Business Operators of Obligations Under Animal By-Products Regulations

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) recently issued a new Food Safety Information Notice (FSIN) to all seafood operators, providing clear guidelines on the requirements concerning Animal By-Products (ABPs) in the seafood industry. The FSIN is available on the SFPA website via the following link:  FFSU FS N ABP 0123 FBO requirements for ABP.

ABPs are materials of animal origin but not consumed by humans. In the seafood industry these included inedible parts from slaughtered animals intended for human consumption or not placed on the market as food, such as fish skin, heads, tails, bones, offal, shells with flesh attached, and deceased fish and molluscs that have died either in the wild or within aquaculture farms and classified production areas.

ABPs pose potential risk for transmitting diseases to humans or animals if not properly managed and processed. The FSIN stipulates that operators shall categorise ABPs based on their associated risk levels into three categories: Category 1 (highest risk) material; Category 2 (intermediate risk), and Category 3 (lowest risk). Each category has a set of clearly defined disposal procedures to mitigate risks, ensuring the highest safety standards.

The FSIN reiterates the responsibilities for Food Business Operators (FBOs), including fishermen and processors. They are required to establish an effective waste policy, and to properly dispose of ABPs arising from processing activities, as well as ensuring proper categorisation, separation, and disposal of ABPs. The operators must also maintain traceability records for all transported ABPs and adhere to necessary regulations when transporting this animal by-products.

Furthermore, the notice  provides guidelines for commercial documentation and transport of ABPs. It states that all ABP consignments should be accompanied by a detailed commercial document. FBOs involved in transporting ABPs must register with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and ensure the use of covered, leak-proof vehicles and containers for transportation.

The FSIN also provides details on the disposal of shellfish shells – it specifies that ABP regulations do not encompass shells from shellfish once all soft tissue and flesh have been fully removed. However, operators should consult their waste permit to ensure they have the necessary permissions for disposal.

The SFPA urges all seafood operators to familiarise themselves with this information notice and promptly enforce necessary procedures to remain in compliance with ABP requirements. Any business producing material of animal origin that is not intended for human consumption must understand and comply with regulations applicable to their business. The person possessing the ABP material at any stage in the chain is responsible for ensuring compliance with the ABPs regulations.*

The full text of the Food Safety Information Notice is accessible on the SFPA's official website

For further details on the FSIN, please contact:





Notes to Editor


*Legislative Basis:

Food Safety Regulations

• Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on hygiene of food stuffs

• Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin

• European Communities (Food and Feed Hygiene) Regulations 2020 S.I. No. 22 of 2020


Animal By-Product Regulations

• Commission Regulation (EU) No 142/2011 laying down health rules as regards animal by-products not intended for human consumption

• Commission Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 laying down health rules as regards animal by-products and derived products not intended for human consumption

• European Union (Animal By-Products) Regulations 2014 S.I. No 187 of 2014