FVO Report – Latvia – Post slaughter traceability of meat and meat products

The audit to Latvia was carried out from 1 to 12 December 2014. The main objective of the audit was to evaluate the operation of official controls over the traceability of meat (meat of domestic ungulates, poultry, lagomorphs and game meat), minced meat, mechanically separated meat (MSM), meat preparations, meat products (hereafter referred to as meat and products thereof), and composite products containing meat and products thereof and other ingredients. Particular attention was paid to the traceability, labelling and identification systems of meat and products thereof, and to composite products containing meat and products thereof and traceability of quantities of each ingredient used.

The Competent Authorities (CAs) responsible for official controls in the scope of the audit have been designated in compliance with Article 4(1) of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 and within the scope of this audit, Union legislation is transposed, where applicable into national legislation.

Within the scope of the audit, the official control plans are implemented as foreseen and official controls are carried out in accordance with documented procedures. The CA controls did not include systematic controls on quantitative traceability (quantities of meat and products thereof and other ingredients, received, used, dispatched and in stock) or an in-depth verification of Food Business Operator’s (FBO’s) traceability procedures.

While the routine CA controls found some non-compliances regarding traceability, labelling and use of additives, the controls did not detect a number of more serious, systemic deficiencies. The CA control results for each of the 14 samples taken at retail level at the start of the Food and Veterinary Office’s (FVO) audit indicated non compliances related to traceability, labelling and/or use of additives. The CA control results indicated that Regulation (EU) No 931/2011 was not implemented correctly in many cases.

In one establishment, the product labels for wild game meat contained misleading information for the final consumer and traceability was not guaranteed. The CA initiated immediate corrective actions, including product suspension.

FVO report – Italy – Dioxin testing of oils, fats and products derived thereof for use in animal feeding

The report it is quite interesting because, beside the overall good result the audit stressed the long turnaround time needed for having analysis results. This fact impedes often to adopt corrective actions in a timely manner and to stop potential crisis at their earliest stage.

This report describes the outcome of an audit carried out by the Food and Veterinary Office in Italy from 18 to 27 February 2014.

The overall objective of the audit was to evaluate the implementation of the specific requirements concerning the production, storage, transport and dioxin testing of oils, fats and products derived thereof for use in animal feeding introduced in Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 through its amendment, Regulation (EU) No 225/2012.

Overall the report concludes that the system of official controls is largely effective in verifying that operators along the feed chain comply with the requirements concerning production, storage, transport and dioxin testing of oils, fats and products derived thereof. However, it is at an early stage of development and, although some good practices were noted, it is not applied in a consistent way throughout the country. The main reason for this situation is linked with a general delay in the process of development and adoption of comprehensive check-lists that would facilitate a structured and systematic verification of relevant requirements, in particular during the approval of establishments.

Moreover, although some measures to reduce the turnaround time for analyses of dioxins have been taken, these are still not sufficient to ensure that corrective actions are taken in a timely fashion.