On 1st June a new visual-only inspection (VOI) regime for swine was introduced in abattoirs throughout the EU following the adoption last year of recommendations for change from the Commission's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH).
The changes put forward were opposed by EWFC and initially rejected by the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament. Since then, members have monitored implementation of the changes, particularly in the UK where recent research was done and support for the changes came from.
Please read the EWFC evaluation of the situation here
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
EWFC has been monitoring the development of Regulation 882 and it's progress in the European Parliament with considerable interest since the first publication of its draft text.
Our members understand that strong, well-resourced, independent meat and food inspection is the only way to guarantee proper consumer protection. That inspection function needs to operate within a legal framework that meets the expectations of today's European consumers -
and this is where Regulation 882 fails according to EWFC.