The roe or salted eggs from sturgeon and paddlefish have long been considered a luxury food. Three of the most well-known varieties that are available are beluga, sevruga and oscietra.
Sturgeon and paddlefish populations are under extreme pressure, with breeding stocks of some species critically low. The movement and trade of caviar is controlled by the convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). They have prohibited trade in certain species and control trade in the other species by a system of permits and certificates.
To enable the easy identification of legal caviar a standardised system of labeling has been introduced. These labels are issued by CITES. See over for more details.
Eggs from the lumpfish, herring and salmon are very acceptable alternatives to genuine caviar. Remember if you are using or selling an alternative to caviar you will have to change your menu, to reflect this. Replace the word “caviar” with the brand name of the fish roe, or use the term “faux caviar” or for lumpfish roe, to indicate the actual ingredients used.
Food business operators must:
- be able to identify from whom and to whom a product has been supplied;
- to have systems and procedures in place that allow for this information to be made available to the inspecting officers;
- have in place a system to allow them to identify the immediate supplier(s) and immediate customer(s) of their products;
- food business operators do not have to identify the immediate customers when they are final consumers;
- keep traceability record for the period of the shelf-life plus 6 months.
Environmental Health Enforcement Officers from Westminster City Council have the authority to detain or seize food products to ensure that they are legal. A lack of traceability information can indicate that food is illegal. Checks of this nature are routine, so always ensure that your paperwork is up to date.
Regulation (EU) 178/2002, Article 18
For queries concerning food hygiene, general food labelling, traceability or food safety management systems please contact the Food Safety Team at Westminster City Council:
Phone: 0207 641 2971
Address: Food Safety, 5th Floor, City Hall, 64 Victoria St, London, SW1E 6QP
For queries concerning the caviar labelling system, registration of caviar repackaging plants:
Phone: 0117 372 8774
Address: Animal Health, Zone1/17, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6EB
For application forms and other guidance notes for registration of caviar re-packaging: www.ukcites.gov.uk
To report any illegal activities involving caviar to the National Wildlife Crime Unit:
Phone: 01620 893607 (Please note all wildlife crime should also be reported to your local police station)
What you need to look out for.
Same one that you can find on Princesse D’Isenbourg’s Caviar
All labels for re-packaging plants are issued by Animal Health on behalf of CITES. All re-packaging plants in the UK must be registered with Animal Health. The method for caviar traceability and labelling is set out above.
Traceability is a legal requirement.
Published on Mar 24, 2016