Research – New Nordic report on food safety in seaweed and kelp

Mattilsynet

Together with other food inspectorates in the Nordics, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has looked at a common Nordic approach to risk management of food safety in seaweed kelp for use as food. The project group recommends that, among other things, a harmonized regulatory framework for food safety should be developed, where seaweed and kelp are classified as a specific group of food, with subgroups for different species.

Interest in seaweed and kelp for use as food is increasing in the Nordic countries and in other countries in Europe. Although seaweed is the largest aquaculture product in the world, there are still no international standards or regulations for food safety in such foods, such as Codex standards or EU legislation.

Nordic species and Nordic waters can have distinctive characteristics that differ from other regions of the world. This must be taken into account in the development of future regulations.

With this as a background, a joint Nordic project was created in 2020, funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, consisting of the food inspectorates in Denmark, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Sweden and Norway.

The purpose was to develop a common Nordic approach to risk management of food safety in seaweed and kelp for use in regulatory development in the EU and Codex, and as a background for guidance material in the countries.

The project ended with a report containing updated knowledge about food safety in seaweed and kelp, with special emphasis on Nordic conditions. It describes, among other things, existing production and risk management, which Nordic species are relevant for use as food, their new food status and analysis data from the various countries for heavy metals and iodine.

Read more about the report on the Norwegian Food Safety Authority’s website

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