Last updated on 3 May 2006
Metals and other elements in processed fish and fish products
Food Survey Information Sheet 08/06
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has conducted a survey of heavy metals in processed fish and shellfish. A total of 165 samples of processed fish and fish products were analysed for aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, lead manganese, mercury, nickel, selenium, thallium, tin and zinc.
The aim of this survey was to supplement the information available for unprocessed fish by providing up-to-date information on the concentrations of heavy metals in processed fish and shellfish and to allow more accurate and detailed dietary intake estimates of metals and other elements by consumers of fish and shellfish products.
Samples analysed included crustaceans, molluscs, canned fish, dried/salted fish and highly processed fish.
Levels of contaminants were found to be similar to those reported in previous studies.
The survey does not raise new safety concerns. The levels of mercury present in some samples reinforce existing Food Standards Agency advice on consumption of swordfish and tuna.