Heavy metal residues in local and imported fish in Egypt

Document Type : Original Article


1 Food Hygiene Dept., Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt.

2 Food Hygiene Dept., Animal Health Research Institute, Doki, Egypt.

3 Animal Health Research Institute, Fayoum branch, Egypt.


"> A total of 100 random muscle samples of Oreochromis niloticus, Claries lazera, imported
Mugil cephalus and Scomber scombrus fish (25 of each) were collected from different
markets in Fayoum City for determination of lead, cadmium, copper and mercury residual
levels to ascertain whether these levels exceeded the prescribed legal limits. The mean
mercury level in the edible muscles tissues of fish species were ranged from below
detectable level to 0.29 ppm in local fish and to 0.28 ppm in imported fish. The residual levels
were not exceeded the prescribed legal limits of the European Commission Regulation (EC).
The highest mean levels of cadmium were recorded in Mackerel (0.119 ± 0.060, ppm) which
exceeded the permitted values stipulated by European Commission (EC). The samples in this
study contained copper within of the general guideline limit for copper in food. The highest
mean levels of lead were also recorded in Mackerel (0.477±0.073 ppm) which exceeded the
permitted value stipulated by European Commission (EC). The results were evaluated
according to International standards of WHO and EC. The provisional tolerable weekly
intakes used in this study to assess the relative safety of marketed in Fayoum. The public
health significance of heavy metal residues in fishes were also discussed.


Main Subjects