The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a draft guidance for industry titled “Purchasing Reef Fish Species Associated With the Hazard of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning “ (CFP). Through the draft guidance, the FDA is adding Pterois volitans and Pterois miles, two species of lionfish, to the list of fish that may carry hazardous levels of ciguatoxins.

CFP is associated with consumption of toxin-contaminated subtropical and tropical reef fish. In addition to the species of lion fish mentioned in the draft guidance, reef fish associated with CFP include: barracuda (Sphyraenidae), amberjack (Seriola), grouper (Family: Serranidae), snapper (Family: Lutjanidae), po’ou (Chelinus spp.), jack (Family: Carangidae), travelly (Caranx spp.), wrasse (Family: Labridae), surgeon fish (Family: Acanthuridae), moray eel (Family: Muraenidae), roi (Cephalopholis spp.), and parrot fish (Family: Scaridae).

Under the Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance, the FDA recommends that primary seafood processors who purchase fish directly from fishermen obtain information about harvest locations to determine the potential for ciguatoxic fish based on knowledge of the regions where ciguatera occurs. In the draft guidance, the FDA recommends that primary seafood processors avoid purchasing fish species associated with causing CFP from established or emerging areas linked with CFP.

Comments on the draft guidance are due May 26, 2013.