Background: The need for an effective food safety assurance method (HACCP)

  • Food borne diseases remain one of the most widespread public health problems in the contemporary world.
  • The increasing incidents of many foods borne illness (i.e. Salmonellosis) in many regions of the world.
  • Increasing awareness of the economic consequences of food borne diseases.
  • Increasing consumers’ awareness of food safety.
  • Emerging food borne pathogens.
  • Low price of exported prawns in international market because of their poor quality, naturally occurring status and highly contaminated tendency.
  • Food safety hazards in prawn culture stopped exportation of fisheries products abroad since 1997. The hazards are as follows:
    1. Biological:Presence of pathogenic bacteria, Virus, Parasites
    2. Physical: Presence of Metals, filths, hairs, animal’s fibers and gas fragments
    3. Chemical: Presence of aquaculture drug residues, Chemical contaminants, Pesticides, Natural toxins, Decompositions, Histamine formation and Allergens, Use of unproved food additives and colors
  • Use of banned chemical during production and processing. A list of banned and restrictedly used chemicals given by FWPCEP, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2000) is as follows:
Name Description Residue limit(mg/kg) Status
Chloramphenicle Veterinary drug 0 Banned from use
Chloroform Veterinary drug 0 Banned from use
Formalin Veterinary drug None specific May be used to control external protozoan parasites on shrimp
Hydrogen Peroxide Veterinary drug None specific Used at 250-500mg/l to control fungi on fishes and eggs
KMnO4 Veterinary drug None specific Used for control gill parasites
Chlorpromazine Veterinary drug 0 Banned from use
Clenbuterol Veterinary drug 0 Banned from use
Endrin Pesticides 0.05mg/l Allowed for use, residues in shrimp shall not exceed limit
PCBs 2 mg/l Can be used in moderated manner
DES Veterinary drug 0 Banned from use

Hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP)
The HACCP is a scientific, rational and systematic approach to the identification, assessment and control of hazards during production, harvesting, manufacturing, transport, distribution, preparation to ensure that food is safe when consumed.

Principles of HACCP

  1. Identification of hazards, conducting a hazard analysis, determining control measures.
  2. Determination of critical control points (CCPs).
  3. Establishing Critical limits
  4. Establishing a system to monitor the CCP.
  5. Establishing corrective actions when monitoring indicates a controlled CCP.
  6. Verification to confirm that the HACCP system is working effectively.
  7. Documentation concerning all procedures and records appreciate to these principles and their applications.

Preconditions of implementing HACCP in prawn culture
The precondition of implementing HACCP in prawn culture farm is Good Aquaculture Practices (GAPs). Good aquaculture practice (GAPs) can be defined as more responsible and environmental friendly practices at the farm level to ensure product quality, safety and consistency production and remain comparative in the global market. Good aquaculture practice is necessary to minimize the potentials for farm raised fishery products, to be contaminated with pathogen, chemicals, filths; unproved animal drugs etc.

For good aquaculture practice, we have to follow “International Code of Conduct”. People of all respects engaged in aquaculture practice should be concern of the rules of HACCP in prawn farms.

Recommendations to adopt HACCP in prawn farms

  1. Community interest is needed for implementing HACCP practically. A HACCP experts’ team is to be formed, who performs hazard analysis and takes decisions at relative matters like as prawn culture, farm management, fisheries extention, public health, microbiology, parasitology, quality control etc.
  2. An arrangement of descriptive presentations before dealers and consumers on farm production, exported goods (prawns) and strategy of exportation. Description of the status of exporting products as if those are value added products (VAPs) or not. Category of the consumers can be dignified (name of hotels and restaurants can be concluded) and procedure of processing concerning business classes may be included in the descriptions.
  3. Procedures conducted in farm production are to be represented in flow diagrams for monthly records and the records should be preserved so that they can be used when needed.
  4. The submitted flow diagrams should be justified at practical basis.

In Bangladesh, unhygienic conditions during propagation, post-harvesting procedure leads towards a poor quality exported products. For this reason, from 1997 European Union banned Bangladesh from exporting fisheries products which alarmed our fisheries industries mainly prawn culture farms.Later, Bangladesh Government showed their obedience to the rules of HACCP and bound to the restriction of implementing HACCP in prawn and fish processing farms.But, after undo the restrictions by EU, improvement in the pre-harvesting procedures at depots levels cannot reach the expectations. For Good Aquaculture Practices (GAPs), we have to follow HACCP in prawn culture and processing farms to demonstrate the Fisheries industry towards a future stability.


  • Ahmed, I.; 2001. A report on Good Aquaculture Practice for safety of aquaculture products; Fish inspection and quality control, DoF, Bangladesh.
  • EU Commission Regulation 2001; 466; setting maximum level for contaminants in foodstuffs.
  • EU Council Regulation 2001; 2375; amendment to 2001; 466.
  • FAD Compliance Policy Guide, Sec. 575.100 Pesticide Residues in Food and Feed Enforcement Criteria (CPG 7141.01)
  • Khondokar, H., R.; 2000. A Report on fixing of maximum residues on foodstuffs of animal origin; Freshwater Prawn Culture Extension Project (FWPCEP), DoF, Bangladesh.


N.B. At first this feature was published at the date of 09 July 2008 on the old site of BdFISH.

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Implements of HACCP in Prawn Culture in Bangladesh

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Syeda Mushahida Al Noor

Research Student, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. More...

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