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French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

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Updated on 04/08/2016

Vary your fish consumption according to your tastes and needs

Consumption alternatives to suit everyone's tastes and specific recommendations for the most vulnerable groups

Keywords : Fats, PCB (Polychlorinated biphenyl), Lipids, Omega-3 fatty acid, Pregnant women

To assist consumers in their choice, the Agency therefore offers alternatives to enable consumers to heed these recommendations more closely, taking into account each consumer’s individual dietary habits, preferences and specific situation.

Consumption alternatives to suit everyone's tastes

If you only eat fish once a week, it must be rich in long-chain omega 3. Consider species such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, or smoked trout, as well as red mullet, anchovies or sardines for children aged 3 to 10 years.
If you want greater variety, you can eat two portions of fish moderately rich in omega 3, such as red mullet, anchovies, pilchard, sea bass, trout, sea bream, turbot, smelt, pike, or halibut. 
If you want to go beyond these recommendations and eat fish more than twice a week, it is advisable to choose lean fish to make up the additional share: tuna (canned), pollock, cod, whiting, sole, ling, skate, hake, monkfish, plaice, dab. 

Specific recommendations for the groups most sensitive to possible contamination

During pregnancy and in the first 3 years of age (perinatal period), a child's brain is particularly vulnerable to the toxic action of chemical contaminants, including methylmercury and PCBs. Specific recommendations for young and adolescent girls, women who are of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding, and children under 3 years further clarify the general recommendations. 

  Children under 3 years Young and adolescent girls Women of childbearing age Pregnant and breastfeeding women

High PCB-accumulating fish:
Eel, barbel, bream, carp, catfish, etc.

Limit consumption to a portion (60g) every two months

Limit consumption to a portion every two months

Limit consumption to a portion (150g) every two months

Limit consumption to a portion (150g) every two months

Fish likely to contain high levels of methylmercury:
monkfish, sea bass, bonito, emperor, grenadier, halibut, pike, sea bream, skate, cutlassfish, tuna, etc.

Limit consumption to a portion (60g) per week

 

 

Limit consumption to a portion (150g) per week

Swordfish, marlin, siki, shark and lamprey

Avoid their consumption

 

 

Avoid their consumption

 

 

Caution! For pregnant women and children under 3 years, consumption of raw fish and shellfish is also not recommended due to the microbiological hazards (Listeriosis in particular).