Seafood has been recognized as a high quality, healthy and safe food item. Yet, some seafood can accumulate environmental contaminants with potential impact on human health. Limited information is available for those without maximum limits set by authorities for seafood, like priority contaminants, biotoxins from harmful algal blooms and marine litter. In order to increase seafood safety to consumers and reduce human health risks, ECsafeSEAFOOD aims to assess safety issues mainly related to non-regulated priority contaminants and evaluate their impact on public health.
ECsafeSEAFOOD addresses these objectives with eight work packages (WPs) targeting priority environmental contaminants, including biotoxins from harmful algal blooms and marine litter. WP1 will elaborate a database with relevant information required for risk assessment gathered from literature and national monitoring programmes. WP2 will monitor contaminants in seafood using an ambitious sampling strategy following the recommendations of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (Descriptor 9) and assess the effect of seafood processing/cooking on contaminants. In WP3, risk assessment (with data from WP1-2) and mitigation strategies will be implemented to reduce the impact of risky contaminants on human health. WP4 will develop fast screening/detection methods for relevant contaminants tailored to suit stakeholders needs to promote consumers’ confidence in seafood. WP5 will carry out the toxicological characterization of contaminated seafood in realistic conditions and will use alternative toxicological methods to provide tools for the risk assessment (WP3). WP6 will assess the links between the level of contaminants in the environment and that in seafood through controlled trials and case-study species, taking into account the effect of climate changes. WP7 details a strategy for education, training with clear and practical dissemination of results. WP8 will ensure efficient project management.