SAFEFISHDISH is a 3-year project to improve the microbial and sensory quality and safety of fish from harvest to consumer.
This will successfully be achieved through a holistic approach involving optimal handling, processing, storage and distribution methods.

Eleven partners from 3 countries, France, Iceland and Norway are involved:
• 5 Academics (NTNU, NOFIMA, MATIS, Ifremer, ONIRIS)
• 4 Industrials (Primex, Fjardalax, Samherji, PFI Nouvelles Vagues)
• 1 Confederation of industry (CITPPM)
Dr Françoise Leroi, Ifremer (France) coordinates the project

This project was sponsored by the COFASP ERA-NET partners, which has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 321553.


Norway and Iceland are among the world’s leading seafood nations and this has been achieved
by increased value adding and knowledge-based management of resources.
France is an important producer but also the major European fish importing country.


The main challenge remains though in successfully maintaining freshness, quality and value as well as safety of seafood through handling, processing and distribution.

Seafood deterioration is mostly governed by microbial and biochemical activities which are influenced by temperature and storage conditions. The main cause of bacterial contamination of fish processing line is due to rapid bacterial proliferation on the skin during early storage which spreads during filleting and by post-contamination during processing. Reducing the microbiota before process and preventing its development during storage will extend shelf life.

The project will focus on wild cod, farming salmon and lightly preserved salmon(cold salmon or marinated salmon):

  • Novel handling techniques and combination of innovative preservation technologies involving biopreservatives (protective cultures and chitosan), superchilling and modified atmosphere will be evaluated.
  • Treatment well ahead of the food chain (on the skin upon harvest and on flesh just after filleting) may maximize its efficiency and will be explored.
  • Combination of these preservation techniques is innovative and needs to be tested.
  • Bacterial ecosystem and their metabolism profile will be explored via modern tools such as new génération sequencing (NGS) and various chromatographic methods.


The project has been organised in 7 workpackages:

  • The workpackage 1 concerns the project management
  • Workpackage 2 consists in the development of new handling technology with chitosan and PCs treatments to reduce bacterial load of fresh cod and salmon.
  • In Workpackage 3, new technological hurdles and their combination will be explored (MAP, PCs).
  • Workpackage 4 deals with transport and temperature control
  • Workpackage 5: Finally, a holistic approach must be considered in order to succeed in delivering high quality and safe seafood to consumer dish.
  • Workpackage 6: Quality and safety will be assessed by sensory, chemical and microbiological analysis, including new molecular specific tools (q-PCR, new generation sequencing) to explore the whole ecosystem (WP6).
  • Workpackage 7 is dedicated to management and dissemination/exploitation of results.