Norway is obliged by international agreements and EU legislations to have a monitoring program for pharmaceuticals, illegal substances, and contaminants in food-producing animals both of terrestrial and marine origin. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) is responsible for the enforcement, planning, and sampling related to EU legislation in Norway. On behalf of the NFSA, the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) is responsible for the analyses and reporting in the monitoring program for Norwegian farmed fish.
Fish at different stages of farming are sampled by official inspectors from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) at farms with no prior notification, and subsequently analysed for illegal substances. Sampling is performed in such a manner that the samples are representative of farmed fish in all production stages. Veterinary drugs and contaminants are taken from fish at processing plants and the samples are representative of fish ready to be placed on the market for human cconsumption. The number of analysis in each group varies to some extent each year because of targeting of the sampling.
The aim of this monitoring program is to ensure that the food on the market is safe for human consumption by monitoring residues of pharmaceuticals, illegal substances, and contaminants in the Norwegian farmed fish in accordance with Directive 96/23/EC “On measures to monitor certain substances and residues thereof in live animal and animal products”
According to Directive 96/23/EC the minimum number of samples to be taken each year is one sample per 100 tonnes produced fish. Farm sites from all regions with aquaculture activity, and at least 10% of the total number of sites, shall be included in the sampling plan. Roughly 30% of the samples shall be analysed for illegal substances, and the remainder of the samples shall be analysed for veterinary drugs and contaminants.
For 2017 about 2700 samples will be analysed, the result will be published in a report.