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Description: GENERAL - Very often damage is due to the fish not being quite sound and properly cured before loading. Fish can develop a "skin-heat" (boiled, burned), the cause of which is too much heat, and this can be distinguished by the skin being loosened here and there. This damage may develop on the wet-salted fish, or partly dried fish. Wet-salted and dried fish may also develop a disease known variously as "Pink," "Pinkeye," "Red mite." It can arise out of many causes such as humidity, etc. but it is commonly stated to exist in certain salts. Once a packing house is infected it is not easy to eradicate. Pink discoloration is inherent and may not show itself at any particular time, but may suddenly appear during various stages of curing or while in transit. These pink organisms do not, however, grow below a temperature of approximately 41 degrees F but the rate of growth is very sensitive to temperatures above this figure. The tails and fins of sun cured fish may resemble glue to the touch due to over-exposure to the sun during curing. Dried fish is sometimes used as a fertilizer, and when shipped for this purpose, it if becomes wetted, it should be spread and dried promptly; the percentage of nitrogen content should not then be affected. Mixing with ice or chilling has very definite limitations as a method of preserving the fresh quality of newly caught fish, as, although utmost care may be observed in handling and packing, the more commercially important species of white fish, e.g. cod, haddock, hake etc., cannot be kept in a reasonably fresh condition for more than 10-12 days from the time of catching when stowed in crushed ice. In the case of herrings and similar fatty fish the period is even shorter. The quality of frozen fish can be adversely affected by very slow freezing, and in the case of "unglazed" fish, storage at too high a temperature will affect the fish. It should be borne in mind that the most perfect of cold storage conditions cannot improve the quality of fish, it can only fix the quality of the fish at the time of freezing. In other words, unless the fish is in perfect condition at the time of freezing it will not be in perfect condition when removed from cold store. If the fish is put in cold store within a short period after catching there should be no deterioration due to cold storage if, of course, the cold storage is satisfactory. If, however, the raw material is not so fresh, or is stale, some deterioration must be expected even under the best conditions of cold storage. Quite often fish is sent on long voyages at temperatures in the region of 14 degrees F. Shipment under such conditions would limit the storage life of the fish, and on long voyages such fish would be reaching a state of unpalatability. Temperatures of 20 degrees F are essential if fish are to be kept for a period of many months in the same condition as when they were caught. See also IMDG Code & US CFR.
Index: 309
Commodity Name: FISH, FISHMEAL, FISH MANURE, etc.

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