FVO report – FNAO and primary production in Polonia (sprouts and sprouting seeds)

This report describes the outcome of a Food and Veterinary Office audit in Poland which took place from 12 to 22 November 2013 under the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and the Council of 29 April 2004.

The objectives of the audit were to evaluate the system of official controls in the area of food hygiene for primary production of Food of Non-Animal Origin (FNAO) and the system of official controls in the area of traceability and import of seeds intended for sprouting and sprouts, microbiological criteria and approval of sprout producing establishments.

Although there are competent authorities designated for official controls in the sectors of primary production of FNAO, the official control system applied is not risk based and cover only production activities during and post harvest in a limited number of establishments. This means that the potential risks arising from microbiological contamination are not systematically taken into account in the planning of official controls. The Polish competent authorities plan to incorporate primary production of FNAO in the risk based official control system. The shortcoming identified in the capacity of the official control laboratories visited could affect the reliability of the analytical results for Verocytotoxin producing Escherichia coli testing.

The Union legislation on seeds intended for sprouting and sprouts has not been adequately implemented. There are deficiencies concerning the approval of sprouting establishments as required by Regulation (EU) No 210/2013 and the own-check systems for monitoring of food safety criteria for sprouts as required by Regulation (EC) No 7023/2005.

The report makes a number of recommendations to the competent authorities aimed at rectifying the shortcomings identified and enhancing the implementation of control measures.

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