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Archived - Standards and Methods Manual
Sampling Documents

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Fish Inspection Program Sampling Policy

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1. Purpose

The purpose of the sampling policy is to define the intent of sampling in the context of the Regulatory Verification System of the Fish Inspection Program.

2. Authorities

This regulatory policy as it relates to sampling is issued under the authority of the:

Part 1, sect.3.i (FIA)

The governor in council may, for the purpose of regulating the export or import of fish and containers make regulations [,] i) prescribing the manner in which samples of any fish can be taken.

Part 1, sect.4.1.c (FIA)

Subject to subsection (1.1), an inspector may at any time [,] c) take any samples for inspection.

Section 3 (FIR)

Subject to subsection (2), these regulations apply only in respect of fish and containers intended for export or import.

Section 4 (FIR)

All fish are subject to inspection and an inspector may take samples of fish free of charge for the purpose of inspection.

Section 5 (FIR)

The owner of fish or a person acting on his behalf shall make readily accessible to an inspector any fish or containers for which inspection or reinspection is required under these regulations.

3. Scope

This policy applies to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and its authorized representatives or agents, who are involved in the administration and enforcement of the:

The policy covers sampling of fish and fish products which are destined for human consumption, and in the case of Canadian federally registered fish processing establishments, water and ice sampling, and environmental sampling. This policy does not cover harvest area biotoxin monitoring sampling in Canada.

4. Policy Statement

The CFIA's role is to verify that regulated parties are meeting their responsibilities in ensuring that fish and fish products comply with safety, quality and identity requirements in accordance with applicable Canadian regulations, and to assess the effectiveness of the Fish Inspection Program in meeting CFIA's mandate. Sampling of fish, fish products, water, ice and the processing environment are tools that support the Fish Inspection Program's regulatory verification activities.

The CFIA is committed to regular reviews and analysis of risks concerning sampling and will provide appropriate tools for planning, conducting, tracking and communicating sampling activities.

5. Policy Requirements

5.1 Sampling activities shall be based on sound science.

5.2 All CFIA sampling target numbers and other relevant activities shall be identified in the Fish Inspection Program national annual sampling plan.

5.3 Sampling plans are designed in accordance with internationally accepted protocols, where appropriate, in order to meet program objectives.

5.4 The CFIA will consider any sampling requests made by external parties on a case by case basis and may accommodate these requests based on available resources.

5.5 Only samples drawn in accordance with current, approved procedures by CFIA inspectors or other authorized personnel will be acceptable for Agency evaluation.

5.6 The integrity and condition of samples must be protected to ensure proper evaluation of the sample. Analyses will not be performed on product which has been compromised in a manner which would result in an improper evaluation.

Fish Inspection Program Sampling Procedures

PDF (448 kb)

1. Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to inspectors in the sampling tasks associated with equipment selection, lot identification, sample unit determination, sample selection, sample labelling and sample storage and transportation.

2. Scope

This document outlines the procedures governing the sampling of fish and fish products and water and ice subject to inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in accordance with applicable Canadian Acts and Regulations and the Fish Inspection Program's sampling policy.

Note: Procedures for environmental sampling in Canadian federally registered establishments will be issued at a later date.

3. Tools and Material Required for Sampling

3.1 Definitions

Aseptic Technique
consists of taking a clean specimen without cross contaminating the sample or the surrounding areas. It is important to use aseptic technique in packaging the sample for transport.
Attribute Sampling Plan
the decision to accept or reject a lot is dependent on the number of sample units which have or do not have a particular attribute, property or characteristic.
any type of receptacle, package, wrapper, or confining band used in packing or marketing fish.
the final user of a product. (i.e., a person or an institution, such as a hospital, hotel, organization or restaurant which purchases a product for its own use.)
Destructive Inspection
an inspection in which the container or product is destroyed, modified or rendered unusable.
a person designated as an Inspector pursuant to Section 17 of the Fish Inspection Act.
with respect to fish, other than fresh fish, means a shipment or part of a shipment of fish that is of the same species, is processed in the same manner by the same producer, is packaged in the same size of container and bears the same label (FIR). A lot of fresh fish refers to a shipment or part of a shipment of fish which has been processed in the same manner by the same producer in a 24-hour period. For fresh fish, the lot may contain more than one species of fish.
Lot size
the number of units of product in a lot.
Non-destructive Inspection
an inspection in which the container is not destroyed.
Pre-packaged product
any product packaged in a container in such a manner that it is ordinarily sold to, or used or purchased by a consumer without being re-packaged.
Random Sample
one in which all elements in the lot have an equal and independent chance of being included in the sample.
Representative Sample
one in which the sample units selected for the sample exhibit all the attributes of the lot proportionately.
a collection of one or more sample units selected from a lot for inspection. The sample comprises all of the sample units drawn for examination or testing purposes from a particular lot.
Sampling Plan
specifies the number of sample units required to make an accurate inspection decision (acceptance or rejection) on a lot. The number of sample units required may depend upon the net weight of the units, the number of units in the lot, and the type of hazard associated with the inspection analysis being performed.
Sample Size (n)
the number of sample units comprising the total sample drawn from a lot or production.
Sample Unit
one of a number of individual containers, or a portion of a fish or primary container examined or evaluated as a single unit.

3.2 Sampling Plans and Inspection Levels

Sampling plans are necessary to query one or more characteristics of a lot because not every unit in a large lot can be inspected. Sampling plans are designed to ensure defensible, statistically valid decision making regarding the acceptance or rejection of a lot.

For sensory, chemical indicator, package integrity and net content analyses, the CFIA has adopted the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) / World Health Organization (WHO) Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plans for Prepackaged Foods (CAC/RM 42-1969). See Annex A for details.

Selection of the appropriate Inspection Level is dependent on the current stage of inspection. Inspection Level I is chosen when the quality of the lot is not in question as in initial inspections. Inspection Level II is used when the quality of goods is in question and a referee method is required for the examination or re-examination of the lot (re-inspection). An increased number of sample units affords greater protection against the inherent risk associated with sampling.

The sampling plan for Container Integrity analysis was adopted from the Visual Inspection Protocol (VIP) developed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Health Canada.

The sampling plan for microbiology and chemistry was adopted from the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMFS).

3.3 Equipment

Use equipment, materials and apparatus which are appropriate for maintaining the condition of the sample.

When obtaining samples, ensure there is no potential for cross-contamination from equipment, materials and apparatus (e.g., aseptic technique).

List of suggested equipment, materials and apparatus:

  • forms as appropriate (master carton label report, Fish Inspection Worksheet, Visual Can Inspection Worksheet, Permission to Move Fish Under Detention form, etc.)
  • Notice of Detention (CFIA/ACIA 5070)
  • Held tags (CFIA/ACIA 0205)
  • Notice of Release (CFIA/ACIA 0201)
  • Receipt for Sample(s) Taken (CFIA/ACIA 4168)
  • inspector notebook
  • hand coverings (plastic gloves, rubber gloves)
  • safety boots and/or rubber boots (for plant inspections), hard hat, coveralls, hairnet
  • adhesive CFIA tape and clear adhesive tape
  • utility knife
  • hand towels
  • plastic bags (various sizes), sampling bottles, tags and labels
  • flashlight
  • thermometer
  • sanitizer and saw
  • clean, hard-sided cooler and ice packs
  • chlorine kit

4. Procedures

4.1 General

Sampling must be conducted in a manner which will maintain the integrity and continuity of the sample associated with the lot (from the time the sample is drawn to the completion of the inspection).

The sampling conditions should be such that inspectors have access to the entire lot without interference. An inspector must note and report any interference encountered because it may compromise the sample.

A sample identification system should be in place which will permit an inspector to assign a unique identification number for the sample associated with a lot, affix all pertinent information to the sample, and document sampling information for record keeping purposes.

4.2 Defining the Lot

Define the lot in accordance with the definition given in Section 3.

When dealing with fish or fish products which possess the same label, but are packaged in different styles (e.g., different sauces) consider the different styles to be of one lot.

4.3 Defining a Sample Unit

Define the sample unit according to the following instructions:

  1. When a lot consists of pre-packaged product, each package and the package thereof constitutes a sample unit.
  2. For fresh and frozen groundfish block and groundfish fillet or fresh and frozen finfish, the sample unit shall consist of a container of fish and the contents thereof.
  3. Use one of the following 3 approaches when sampling from bulk packages:
    1. the sample shall consist of the bulk package and the contents thereof;
    2. for fresh or individually frozen whole or dressed finfish or fresh or individually frozen finfish fillets, the individual fish or fillet may be considered as a representative sub-sample; and
    3. for scenarios other than described in section ii), a 1 kg sub-sample of product obtained from the bulk pack may be considered a representative sample.

      Note: Refer to the sampling section of the individual product standard for further guidance.

  4. In lots consisting of salt or pickled fish packed in boxes or barrels, the container constitutes the sample unit. Inspect the entire contents of the container.
  5. When a lot of fresh fish consists of more than one species, all of the sample units used to form a sample shall consist of one species type.
  6. When inspecting large fish, each fish constitutes a sample unit. When an inspector has confidence a representative sub-sample may be obtained from a large, whole fish, the sub-sample becomes the sample unit. The sub-sample must be obtained in a manner which does not compromise the integrity of the sample.
    To obtain a representative sub-sample from large, whole fish for chemical and microbiological analysis, take 3 one-inch slices from each of the following areas:
    1. behind the pectoral fins;
    2. halfway between the first slice and the vent; and
    3. behind the vent. These 3 slices form the sample unit, representing the large fish.

    When sampling for sensory analysis, the 3 slice method described above is recommended. If in the inspector's view, fewer or more slices are required to make an accurate decision on the quality of the lot, the inspector may exercise his/her discretion to decide what constitutes a representative sample unit for that fish. If the inspector decides only one slice is required as a representative sub-sample from the fish, the one slice should not be taken from behind the vent because this slice does not usually exhibit signs of early decomposition.

4.4 Determining the Number of Sample Units Required

Determine the number of sample units required. The sample units needed for other analyses (i.e. chemistry) may be drawn from the units selected for sensory evaluation, where appropriate.

When a sample unit is drawn for more than one analysis, ensure the sample unit is of sufficient mass to perform all of the required analyses.

When microbiological analysis is required, submit the samples to the microbiological section for analysis first to ensure the integrity of the sample is not jeopardized.

For export certificates, there may be instances where the number of sample units required may be specified. Follow the directions associated with the export certificate.

4.4.1 Sensory, Net Content and Package Integrity

The sampling plan for these analyses is the Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plan for Pre-packaged Foods (CAC/RM 42-1969) found in Annex A. Decide which inspection level is appropriate (Level I for initial inspections and Level II for re-inspections).

Using the parameters of net weight per sample unit and the lot size (see Annex A), determine the number of sample units required for inspection. Note: the Sampling Plan in Annex A applies to destructive and non-destructive sampling for net content.

4.4.2 Container Integrity Initial Inspection
  • Draw 200 sample units from a minimum of 40 cases with no more than 5 sample units being selected from each case.
  • For lots with less than 200 sample units, inspect all units. Record the total number of containers on the report form. Re-inspection
  • Select a minimum of 250 cases. Draw 1250 cans from the cases but do not select more than 5 cans from one case.
  • When there are fewer than 1250 units, examine each unit and record the number on the report form.

Note: Stop sampling immediately, detain the lot and advise the owner when the following conditions are found:

4.4.3 Sampling for Microbiological Analysis General Procedures

All samples must accurately reflect microbiological conditions at the time that sampling is performed. To maintain sample integrity, follow the procedures listed below.

  • If possible, sample final product already packaged.
  • Procure the samples using an aseptic technique so as to not contaminate both the sample and the product being sampled.
  • Draw 5 sample units (minimum of 250 g per unit) per lot unless otherwise specified. Sampling Raw Shellfish
  • Examine samples of shellstock, shucked unfrozen shellfish, and live shellfish within 24 hours after collection. When analysis is unavoidably delayed beyond 24 hours, report the actual time elapsed between collection and analysis.
  • Use heavy plastic bags (6 mil gauge) for shellstock collection to ensure that shells to do not puncture the plastic and compromise the sample integrity.
  • Take 5 units of 12-18 shellfish per unit. This number should ensure the selection of 10 sound animals suitable for shucking. Ensure the shellfish yield approximately 200 g of meat and shell liquor.
  • Using an aseptic technique, transfer the shellfish to the sample jar with sterile forceps or alternatively, samples of the final product may be taken in the packing cans or containers.
  • Consumer packages are acceptable for examination. Sampling Running Water
  • Collect 1 sample unit of water in a clean container of suitable size. Use a container with 100 to 200 ml capacity for routine water analysis.
  • To obtain a representative sample from a tap, open the tap fully and allow the water to run for 2 or 3 minutes or a sufficient time to permit clearing of the service line.
  • Leave sufficient head space in the water sampling container so the sample can be adequately mixed by shaking. Procuring Ice Samples
  • Take 1 sample unit of ice from the ice storage area in a sterile plastic jar or bag. Maintain the frozen state of the ice.

4.4.4 Sampling for Chemical Analysis General Sampling
  • See Annex B for descriptions of chemical analyses.
  • Chemical analyses require 5 sample units for initial inspection (with the exception of Chemical Indicators, which require a minimum of 6 sample units depending on the size of the lot, in accordance with Annex A). For re-inspections, a sample size of 10 units is required. For re-inspections of chemical indices analysis, use Inspection Level II of the sampling plan given in Annex A.
  • Sample units chosen for chemical analysis should not undergo any adulteration (such as rinsing with water) which may change the chemistry results. Chemical Indicators (includes histamine, indole and total volatile base nitrogen (TVBN))
  • The sampling plan for chemical indicators is the same as that for sensory evaluation (Annex A). After performing the sensory evaluation, forward what remains of the sample to the chemistry laboratory immediately. Additive and Proximate Analysis
  • Draw 5 sample units each consisting of a minimum of 100 g. For sample units which are less than 100 g, submit all of the available sample for analysis. Product Safety Parameters and Drug Residues
  • Draw 5 sample units each consisting of a minimum of 200 g.
  • When sampling for drug residue analysis, sample 5 entire fish or full fillets.
  • Ensure that samples submitted for drug residue analysis are not exposed to areas or equipment where medicated feed has been stored or used. Chemical Contaminants
  • For lots which contain fish or fish products of similar size, draw 5 sample units each consisting of a minimum of 100 g. Mercury: For lots which contain fish or fish products of varying sizes, draw 5 units which represent the size distribution in the lot. Other Chemical Testing
  • For species identification draw one (1) individual fish, fillet or package, a minimum of 100 g.
  • For other types of chemistry sampling, draw 5 units of 100 g.

4.4.5 Sampling for Shellfish Toxin Analysis Import and QMP samples
  • Take 5 units of 12-18 shellfish per unit. This number should ensure the selection of 10 sound animals suitable for shucking. Ensure the shellfish yield approximately 200 g of meat and shell liquor.
  • When sampling geoducks (Panope generosa), take 3 animals. Analysis is conducted on the viscera of the 3 animals.
  • When sampling crabs, take 3 animals. Analysis is conducted on the viscera of the 3 animals. Molluscan Shellfish Monitoring Program
  • Take 1 unit of 12-18 shellfish. This number should ensure selection of 10 sound animals suitable for shucking. Ensure the shellfish yield approximately 200 g of meat and shell liquor.

4.5 Locating and Identifying the Lot

Ensure all containers of product are available and accessible for sampling. Where applicable, obtain the following information prior to inspection to ensure the correct lot is being sampled:

  • reason for inspection (e.g., initial inspection)
  • location of the lot
  • name and address of agent/owner
  • lot size (number of cases, containers per case)
  • lot codes and their interpretation
  • brand name
  • product type and style of pack
  • container type and unit weight
  • processing establishment
  • country of origin or destination
  • requirements for importing country when an export certificate is being issued.

4.6 Selecting Sample Units

Select a systematic random sample from the lot. Please refer to Annex C for further instruction. When an inspector thinks it is not possible to draw a true random sample, the inspector may draw a representative sample from the lot.

4.7 Labelling Samples

  1. Record details of sampling in a notebook (i.e., lot location, no. of samples drawn, unique identification no., time of sampling, codes drawn).
  2. Ensure all samples are accompanied by a completed sample information form. Include the following information where appropriate:
    • type of analysis required (sulphite, net weight, etc.)
    • country of origin
    • collection date and time
    • packer and packer code
    • shipment identification number
    • held tag number (if product is detained)
    • lot size and unit weight
    • samplers's name
    • lake code (body of water and landmarks), statistical area and sub-area
    • length and weight of fish (contaminant sampling)
    • number of units sampled
    • plant name and registration number
    • harvest site (shellfish samples)
    • harvest date (shellfish samples)
    • processing date
    • species and product type
    • farm and pen information (farmed fish)
    • inspection status and type (Alert, random, etc.)
    • name of importer
    • analyses required for export certificate
    • cost recoverable (yes/no)
  3. Include any other relevant information when requesting chemistry analyses which would assist in performing the analysis or assessing the results, such as:
    1. for packaged fish, a copy of the label;
    2. observations of abnormal odours, taste, colours, or texture; and
    3. for species identification, the common name as labeled on the package of the product and the suspected substituted species.
  4. Label as soon as they are obtained, all samples using waterproof tags and markers for identification purposes. Do not allow the marker/tag to come in direct contact with the sample. In the case of large whole fish, tag each fish.
  5. Include the sample sheet in a separate plastic bag with the sample. Mark pre-packaged products as soon as the unit is drawn.

4.8 Sample Storage and Transportation

4.8.1 Special considerations regarding sample storage and shipping

  1. Microbiology
    1. Until the sample is analyzed, maintain the sample under conditions which will preserve the original bacterial flora as completely as possible. Maintain the sample at a maximum of 5°C. In some instances, samples must be frozen. Do not freeze samples unless the laboratory has been consulted. Freezing is undesirable because bacterial numbers may decrease in the sample.
    2. Fresh samples must be refrigerated (5°C) until analyzed. When storing samples, remember that analysis of unfrozen product should take place within 24 hours of sampling. Note the time of sampling and the time of analysis. Reports must state whether or not the samples have been frozen.
    3. Refrigerate (do not freeze) samples of shucked or live shellfish immediately after collection by packing in crushed ice and keeping them in ice until examined. The shellfish must not come into direct contact with ice. Care must be taken with these samples to minimize cold shock by insulating these samples from direct contact with refrigerant while still ensuring samples are chilled. For example, frozen ice packs can be placed below and above the samples with insulating layers of newsprint or other food- quality insulating material placed between the refrigerant and the sample.
    4. Water samples: The bacterial examination of impure water and sea water samples must begin within 6 hours of collection. The storage of water samples should not exceed 24 hours. Should this time limit be exceeded, record the actual time between sampling and analysis.
  2. Proximate analysis and chemical indicators: Curtailing bacterial growth and limiting autolytic spoilage is facilitated through temperature control. Keep the product at a temperature below -20°C where possible. Do not leave thawed samples on bench for any long period of time. The growth of bacteria in the sample may influence the analysis of the product. For proximate analysis, prevent the dehydration of the sample.

4.8.2 Sample Storage

Ensure that the integrity of the sample is maintained by proper storage. Maintain the state of the sample.

  1. Keep frozen samples in a freezer (at -18°C) or in a carton/cooler with ice packs and ship the sample as quickly as possible to ensure that the sample remains in the frozen state.
  2. Store unfrozen samples at refrigeration temperatures (below 5°C). When the time of storage is lengthy, it may be necessary to freeze the samples.
  3. Keep cans at ambient room temperature.

4.8.3 Sample Shipping or Delivery

Samplers may have to ship samples to another location for testing or the samples may be delivered to other inspection personnel at the same location. When providing samples to other inspection staff at the same location, ensure the other staff are notified (with a hard copy of the sample sheet) and information regarding the location of the sample (freezer, cooler, etc.) when the sample is delivered.

When shipping a sample:

  1. make arrangements with receiving person at the laboratory prior to shipping the sample;
  2. address the shipment to the person and include the person's phone number;
  3. ensure perishable samples are properly marked for handling by the carrier;
  4. advise the laboratory of the estimated arrival time of the sample and the carrier information. If the inspector is not able to contact the laboratory or if the microbiology sample delivery cannot be completed within 24 hours, he/she should consider the merits of sampling at another time; and
  5. take special precautions when transporting samples of canned product that are obviously swollen or under pressure. Place swollen cans in plastic bags and transport inside a box or cooler.

4.9 Receipt by Laboratory

Log in the samples upon arrival at the laboratory, noting the time received and the condition at the time of receipt (i.e., physical damage, temperature). If the condition compromises the sample integrity, the sample may be rejected.

Check the sample information form to ensure all pertinent information has been included. If the form contains insufficient information, contact the inspector for the missing information (additions to be dated and initialed).

5. Sampling for External Organizations

Fish Inspection personnel may receive requests to perform sampling for external groups or organizations (e.g., provincial governments, other federal government departments). In these instances, the external organizations may have sampling policy and procedures that differ from those specified in this document. Please follow the procedures specified by the organization requesting the sample when it is for their purposes.

6. Annexes

Annex A - Sampling Plans
Annex B - Categorization of Chemical Analyses
Annex C - Systematic Random Sampling
Annex D - Attribute Sampling Plans

Annex A - Sampling Plans

(Inspection Level I)

Net weight is equal to or less than 1 kg (2.2 lb)
Lot Size (N) Sample Size (n)
4,800 or less 6
4,801 - 24,000 13
24,001 - 48,000 21
48,001 - 84,000 29
84,001 - 144,000 48
144,001 - 240,000 84
more than 240,000 126
Net weight is greater than 1 kg (2.2 lb) but not more than 4.5 kg (10 lb)
Lot Size (N) Sample Size (n)
2,400 or less 6
2,401 - 15,000 13
15,001 - 24,000 21
24,001 - 42,000 29
42,001 - 72,000 48
72,001 - 120,000 84
more than 120,000 126
Net weight is greater than 4.5 kg (10 lb)
Lot Size (N) Sample Size (n)
600 or less 6
601 - 2,000 13
2,001 - 7,200 21
7,201 - 15,000 29
15,001 - 24,000 48
24,001 - 42,000 84
more than 42,000 126

(Inspection Level II)

Net weight is equal to or less than 1 kg (2.2 lb)
Lot Size (N) Sample Size (n)
4,800 or less 13
4,801 - 24,000 21
24,001 - 48,000 29
48,001 - 84,000 48
84,001 - 144,000 84
144,001 - 240,000 126
more than 240,000 200
Net weight is greater than 1 kg (2.2 lb) but not more than 4.5 kg (10 lb )
Lot Size (N) Sample Size (n)
2,400 or less 13
2,401 - 15,000 21
15,001 - 24,000 29
24,001 - 42,000 48
42,001 - 72,000 84
72,001 - 120,000 126
more than 120,00 200
Net weight is greater than 4.5 kg (10 lb)
Lot Size (N) Sample Size (n)
600 or less 13
601 - 2,000 21
2,001 - 7,200 29
7,201 - 15,000 48
15,001 - 24,000 84
24,001 - 42,000 126
more than 42,000 200

Annex B - Categorization of Chemical Analyses

Chemical analyses of samples can be divided into 5 categories:

  • (A) additives and proximate analysis;
  • (B) product safety parameters and drug residue;
  • (C) chemical contaminants;
  • (D) chemical indicators; and
  • (E) other chemistry testing.

If categorizing the analysis proves difficult, consult the testing laboratory.

A) Additives are chemicals added to the product during processing in order to preserve it in some manner, modify the colour, modify the taste, or alter the characteristics of the product. The application methods for these substances may vary which affects the distribution of the substance in the product. Substances included in this category are sulphite (bleaching agent), benzoate (preservative), and saccharin (sweetener).

Proximate Analyses are those analyses used to determine the components of a product and the percentage of those components in a product including fat, protein, moisture.

B) Product safety parameters are those parameters which are used to curtail bacterial growth in a product and prolong the product shelf life. The parameters may be used in combination in a product or only one parameter may be controlled to prevent bacterial growth. Salt, water activity, and pH are included in this category.

Drug Residue is residue that has resulted from the application of antibiotics or similar substances to the fish to prevent or treat disease. Tetracyclines, sulfonamides, and chloramphenicol are included in this category.

C) Chemical contaminants are substances which are present in the fish products as a result of the environmental conditions to which the fish was exposed. Organic contaminants concentrate in the lipid portion of the fish whereas inorganic contaminants are more uniformly distributed throughout the muscle (protein) tissue. Mercury, PCBs, and Mirex are included in this category.

D) Chemical Indicators (quality indices) are substances which are produced from decomposition processes that are occurring in the fish. Chemical testing is often used to corroborate results from sensory analysis. Quality indices include histamine, indole, and total volatile base nitrogen (TVBN).

E) Other chemistry testing refers to testing which does not correspond with one of the afore-mentioned categories. The tests contained in this category cannot be grouped with other tests. Species identification by electrophoresis is included in this category.

Annex C - Systematic Random Sampling

  1. Identify the N units in the population to be sampled by serially numbering them from 1 to N.
  2. If a sample of size n is desired, find an integer k, called the sampling interval, where k=N/n (round up).
  3. Randomly select a number j between 1 and k.
  4. The required systematic sample is then produced by the population units corresponding to the numbers: j, j + k, j + 2k, …, j + (n-1)k.


Lot of 2.2 kg packages of frozen, block shrimp

  • Number of cases: 2000
  • Boxes per case: 6
  • Lot Size (N): 12,000 cases
  • Number of sample units required (n): 13


  1. Serially number the packages from 1 to 12,000 according to their placement on the skid.
  2. Evaluate the sampling interval as k = N/n = 12,000/13 = 923.
  3. Choose a random number (j) between 1 and 923, e.g., 11.
  4. The packages of shrimp selected to make up a systematic sample of size 13 will then be those which position numbers are:
    • j, j + k, j + 2k, …, j + 12k
    • 11, 11 + 923, 11 + (2 x 923), …, 11 + (12 x 923)
    • 11, 934, 1857, …, 11087
    • that is, select the 11th package and every 923rd package after that until thirteen packages have been identified.

Annex D - Attribute Sampling Plans

Sampling Plan 1

(Inspection Level I, AQL = 6.5)

Net weight is equal to or less than 1 kg (2.2 lb)
Lot Size (N) Sample Size (n) Acceptance Number
Acceptance Number
(c) Table Note 1
4,800 or less 6 1 (0)
4,801 - 24,000 13 2 (1)
24,001 - 48,000 21 3 (2)
48,001 - 84,000 29 4 (3)
84,001 - 144,000 48 6 (4)
144,001 - 240,000 84 9 (6)
more than 240,000 126 13 (9)

Table Notes

Table Note 1

The figure in brackets under the Acceptance Number (c) indicates the Acceptance Number for decomposition.

Return to table note 1  referrer

Net weight is greater than 1 kg (2.2 lb) but not more than 4.5 kg (10 lb)
Lot Size (N) Sample Size (n) Acceptance Number
Acceptance Number
(c) Table Note 2
2,400 or less 6 1 (0)
2,401 - 15,000 13 2 (1)
15,001 - 24,000 21 3 (2)
24,001 - 42,000 29 4 (3)
42,001 - 72,000 48 6 (4)
72,001 - 120,000 84 9 (6)
more than 120,000 126 13 (9)

Table Notes

Table Note 2

The figure in brackets under the Acceptance Number (c) indicates the Acceptance Number for decomposition.

Return to table note 2  referrer

Net weight is greater than 4.5 kg (10 lb)
Lot Size (N) Sample Size (n) Acceptance Number
Acceptance Number
(c) Table Note 3
600 or less 6 1 (0)
601 - 2,000 13 2 (1)
2,001 - 7,200 21 3 (2)
7,201 - 15,000 29 4 (3)
15,001 - 24,000 48 6 (4)
24,001 - 42,000 84 9 (6)
more than 42,000 126 13 (9)

Table Notes

Table Note 3

The figure in brackets under the Acceptance Number (c) indicates the Acceptance Number for decomposition.

Return to table note 3  referrer

Sampling Plan 2

(Inspection Level II, AQL = 6.5)

Net weight is equal to or less than 1 kg (2.2 lb)
Lot Size (N) Sample Size (n) Acceptance Number
Acceptance Number
(c) Table Note 4
4,800 or less 13 2 (1)
4,801 - 24,000 21 3 (2)
24,001 - 48,000 29 4 (3)
48,001 - 84,000 48 6 (4)
84,001 - 144,000 84 9 (6)
144,001 - 240,000 126 13 (9)
more than 240,000 200 19 (13)

Table Notes

Table Note 4

The figure in brackets under the Acceptance Number (c) indicates the Acceptance Number for decomposition.

Return to table note 4  referrer

Net weight is greater than 1 kg (2.2 lb) but not more than 4.5 kg (10 lb)
Lot Size (N)   Sample Size (n) Acceptance Number
Acceptance Number
(c) Table Note 5
2,400 or less 13 2 (1)
2,401 - 15,000 21 3 (2)
15,001 - 24,000 29 4 (3)
24,001 - 42,000 48 6 (4)
42,001 - 72,000 84 9 (6)
72,001 - 120,000 126 13 (9)
more than 120,000 200 19 (13)

Table Notes

Table Note 5

The figure in brackets under the Acceptance Number (c) indicates the Acceptance Number for decomposition.

Return to table note 5  referrer

Net weight is greater than 4.5 kg (10 lb)
Lot Size (N) Sample Size (n) Acceptance Number
Acceptance Number
(c) Table Note 6
600 or less 13 2 (1)
601 - 2,000 21 3 (2)
2,001 - 7,200 29 4 (3)
7,201 - 15,000 48 6 (4)
15,001 - 24,000 84 9 (6)
24,001 - 42,000 126 13 (9)
more than 42,000 200 19 (13)

Table Notes

Table Note 6

The figure in brackets under the Acceptance Number (c) indicates the Acceptance Number for decomposition.

Return to table note 6  referrer

Version Register
Version Date Comments
1 2012/01/03 Original
2 2012/06/01 Modification to section 4.4.4 - Chemical Analysis. Re-organised text and highlighted that 6 sample units are required for Chemical Indicators initial inspection.
Date modified: