Research commissioned by EFSA threatens bleak future for poultry consumers
While calls for tighter and more effective regulation of meat processing prompted by the horse meat scandal still echo, the European Commission has fuelled further debate by publishing a report of it's food safety arm. Research into chicken processing, undertaken for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2013, was commissioned to support fundamental change to official controls. Those controls currently require on-site visual inspection of the carcass of every chicken (or other fowl) produced for food in the EU by independent Official Auxiliaries (OAs) or company employed Poultry Inspection Assistants (PIAs) under the control of independent Official Veterinarians (OVs).
For a full analysis and the comments by EWFC download the full report here
On 8 May 2013, Germany reported seven cases of hepatitis A virus (HAV) genotype IA infection in persons with a travel history to ski resorts in northern Italy.
Subsequently, Italy reported an increase in the number of HAV cases at national level and declared an outbreak. At European Union (EU) level, confirmed and probable epidemic case definitions were adopted, with reference to the outbreak strain (OS) genotyping sequence result (GenBank accession number KF182323).
Since 1 January 2013, 1444 cases associated with this HAV outbreak have been reported by 12 EU/European Economic Area (EEA) countries. Of these, 331 were confirmed cases. Italy reported 90% of the cases. Dispersed or clustered cases without any travel history were also reported in Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
To date no deaths associated with this outbreak have been reported; however, surveillance systems for HAV infections are not always able to capture this information.
read the full report about this interesting casestudy here: http://goo.gl/mZTKSS
Berries are a perishable food which can be consumed as fresh or minimally-processed as well as a frozen ingredient added to many foods. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are the most commonly consumed in the EU. Risk factors for berry contamination by Salmonella and Norovirus were considered in the context of the whole food chain. Available estimates of the prevalence of these pathogens in berries were evaluated together with mitigation options relating to prevention of contamination and the relevance of microbiological criteria. It was concluded that each farm environment represents a unique combination of risk factors that can influence occurrence and persistence of pathogens in berry production.
Appropriate implementation of food safety management systems including Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), should be primary objectives of berry producers. There is currently insufficient evidence to justify the establishment of microbiological criteria for Salmonella for fresh or frozen berries. Outbreaks associated with Norovirus in frozen raspberries and strawberries are an emerging public health risk, although it is not known if in these outbreaks contamination occurred at minimal processing or during primary production. It is currently not possible to assess the suitability of an EU-wide Norovirus Hygiene Criterion at primary production for raspberries and strawberries.
please find the EFSA report