FVO (Food and Veterinary Office) – Audit reports – Belgium: microbiological criteria

Food and Veterinary Office – Audit reports
Belgium – Public Health – Microbiological Criteria (Reg. EC 2073/2005)
Country: Belgium – Audit number 2013 – 6861
Audit period Jan – Feb 2013 / Published 19/09/2013
Competent Authority response to the report recommendations: http://ec.europa.eu/food/fvo/act_getPDFannx.cfm?ANX_ID=7361
Competent Authority comments on the draft report: http://ec.europa.eu/food/fvo/act_getPDFannx.cfm?ANX_ID=7362
In the conclusions of the opening report the FVO found that the level of detail and the frequency are not adequate for certain commodities, that the controls have not covered all relevant aspects of the Reg. EC 2073/2005, the sanctions are not proportioned and the implementation of the controls was not fully effective in certain cases (meat preparations, fishery products and food of non-animal origin).
“The organisation of official controls at FBO level in relation to Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 in general and to food safety and process hygiene criteria in particular, varies widely between the different types of commodities in terms of level of detail and frequency which are not adequate for certain commodities. For most of the commodities under review, the procedures for official control at establishment level included very limited aspects concerning compliance with the different requirements of Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005. The official controls were not adequately documented to have covered all relevant aspects of this piece of legislation in most cases. The implementation of these controls was not fully effective in several cases assessed (in particular for meat preparations, fishery products and food of non-animal origin). Numerous shortcomings were not detected by the CA. A lack of CA action for long-standing deficiencies, in particular as regards sampling and testing methods and action in case of non-compliant test results (including for food safety criteria) was noted. Moreover, the sanctions given were not proportionate in the cases reviewed by the FVO audit team in the dairy sector. The official controls carried out by the private certification and inspection bodies carrying out validation of FBOs’ own control systems have not been effective in some of the establishments visited by the FVO audit team.”
After the inspection the FVO extended to the Competent Authority eight reccomendations, which you can find at the end of the report and in the above linked documents (Comments and response of the CA based on the report).