FVO Report on Myanmar – Risks from sprouting seeds

This report describes the outcome of an audit carried out by the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) in Myanmar from 24 February to 06 March 2014.

The objectives of the audit were to evaluate the official controls related to production and processing of seeds for human consumption (in particular, seeds for sprouting eg. mung beans and other seeds for sprouting) intended for export to the European Union (EU) in the framework of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 and Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 and to evaluate procedures in place for the certification for imports into the EU of seeds for the production of sprouts as required by Regulation (EU) No 211/2013. The objectives of the audit were met.

Myanmar was selected to be audited as part of the 2014 FVO audit programme due to a number of outbreaks in the EU connected with the consumption of sprouted seeds and the volume of imports from Myanmar.

Official food safety controls on primary production, collection and processing of seeds for human consumption (in particular, seeds for sprouting) do not take place. This was acknowledged by the Myanmar Competent Authorities.

The CAs of Myanmar are aware of the requirements of EU legislation on sprouts and seeds for sprouting. There are currently no official controls carried out to attest the implementation of general hygiene requirements as laid down in Annex I to Regulation 852/2004. However, in the regions visited the above-mentioned requirements were implemented by primary producers. The hygiene practices in the processing facilities and collectors visited by the FVO audit team were generally in line with the relevant EU requirements.

The system of official food safety controls currently in place cannot ensure that the seeds for human consumption (in particular, seeds for sprouting) were produced under conditions which meet the general hygiene provisions for primary production and associated operations as set out in Part A of Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 and therefore the CA is not able to certify conformity with these requirements as required by Article 3 of Regulation (EU) 211/2013.

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