EU DG Health and Food Safety audit in Sweden – Unexpected flaws in microbial safety of food of non-animal origin

Here below the summary of a recent audit of the EU Commission services on the Swedish official control system for food of non animal origin (in particular frozen food and sprouts/seeds for sprouting). Beside the detected shortcomings, is quite unusual to notice that from internal audits from 2014 and from EU Commission audit in 2015, nothing or little improvements have been made.

“This report describes the outcome of a DG Health and Food Safety audit in Sweden which took place from 18 September to 27 September 2018 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 assess:

 the system of official controls in the area of food hygiene to prevent microbiological contamination in the production of food of non-animal origin, notably as frozen products and sprouts and seeds intended for sprouting;

 the extent to which the corrective actions submitted to the Commission services in response to the recommendations of the previous Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety audit report of 2015 have been implemented and their effectiveness in addressing the identified shortcomings.

Overall, a risk-based control system for official controls on food of non-animal origin is in place. There is a system for registering primary producers and for the approval of sprout-producing establishments. This facilitates the implementation of a risk-based approach to official controls including microbial risks associated with food of non-animal origin.

Regarding official samples, the appropriate laboratory capability and capacity is available.

Significant shortcomings were identified in relation to the registration of food business operators and approval of sprout-producing establishments. The approval system does not ensure that noncompliances have been rectified before that approval is granted. In addition, the official control system presents a number of gaps, notably related to provision of specific instructions, technical support and staff training. As a result, official controls cannot be implemented correctly and effectively, resulting in poor controls. This impacts on the enforcement, where non-compliances are hardly detected and when detected are rarely followed-up.

A number of these shortcomings were equally reflected in the outcome of an internal audit performed by the Central Competent Authority
in June 2018, and which found little corrective action since the previous internal audit, in 2014.

Thus, non-compliant products might be undetected and the correct application of the relevant legislation might not be enforced, resulting in placing on the market of non-compliant products which may present a health risk.

In respect of the follow-up to the previous audit, certain actions have not been effective in addressing the identified shortcomings. Overall, the audit had to conclude that there has been limited improvement compared to what was found previously.”

(Source: DG Sante website)

Webinar – New Chinese draft Regulations on general and nutrition labeling explained (texts in EN available to subscribers)

This webinar is now available recorded in our archives. You can have it on demand – together with accompanying material – writing at foodlawlatest@gmail.com for more info.

In cooperation with HFG law firm in Shanghai, we are proud to offer the first webinar on the potential changes of food labeling legislation in China.

Drafts of GB 7718 (Standard for general labeling for prepackaged food) and GB 28050 (Standard for nutritional labeling for prepackaged food) were disclosed in December 2018. We are talking about two unexplored cornerstones of food labeling regulation in China.

Although those are only non-final versions, therefore potentially still subject to further modifications, companies can learn a lot from these drafts to understand what may possibly change – which will have a crucial impact on their marketing and compliance.

  1. CONTENT/MODALITIES

Duration: estimated 2 h webinar (plus Q&A time) to ease the direct interaction. Questions will be made in chat during the webinar, and the speaker will answer during the speech or at the end. If you are not shy you’ll have the opportunity to speak your questions live in the Q&A phase as well.

After the webinar you’ll receive the presentation, together with the recording and a bunch of bonus materials.

The connection will be via UberConference. You can dial in via phone (toll free) or connect with your computer without any install or dial in. After subscription you will receive all the details to access UberConference and test in any moment the system, to avoid any last minute technical issue.

  1. DATE
  • 15th February 2019 from 9 a.m. to 11a.m. CET (Shanghai time 4.30 p.m.)
  1. PRICING/SUBSCRIPTION

For subscriptions, please write at foodlawlatest@gmail.com, indicating:

  • your name and surname
  • company name/affiliation
  • only participation to webinar or webinar + standards translated
  • invoicing/billing details (including a tax/VAT/registration number for your company)

Pricing:

  • 200 €/subscription to the webinar (the 2nd person from the same company/organization will benefit of a 20% discount);

OR

  • 250 €/subscription to the webinar + receiving in advance full English translation of the drafts GB 7718 and GB 28050

(the 2nd person from the same company/organization will benefit of a 20% discount);

Payment should be made upfront.

  1. PROGRAMS

New draft standard GB 7718 (prepackaged food labeling)

Highlight on the main changes, which include:

  • QUID for ingredients;
  • Products name;
  • Positive and negative claims;
  • Allergenic ingredients labeling;
  • Additive declaration
  • Labeling in case of entrusted production
  • Labeling of suitable categories of people

New draft standard GB 28050 (nutritional labeling)

Highlight on the main changes, which include:

  • mandatory content;
  • exemptions to nutritional labeling;
  • definitions of specific nutrients;
  • error ranges;
  • Recommended serving
  • Recommended graphic
  • allowed nutritional claims (content, comparative, function);
  • label formats
  1. SPEAKER

Nicola Aporti is an Italian-qualified lawyer, who supports international clients in establishing and running their operations in China. He is established in Shanghai since 2006 and he is Head of Corporate and Food Regulatory at the law firm HFG

He has substantive experience in supporting food companies in China in the areas of food regulatory, consumer protection, food licenses, IP and contractual matters.

Nicola is author of Guida alla normativa dell’Industria Alimentare in Cina, Food Editore, Parma 2013; Introduccion al Derecho Alimentario en China, Thomson Reuters Aranzadi, Madrid 2014; and co-author of Sostenibilita’ e Cina, L’Asino d’Oro, Milano 2014. Moreover, Nicola regularly writes articles on reviews  such as LexologyRivista di diritto Alimentare, Food, eFood Lab, and  posts weekly updates on his www.chinafoodlaw.blog

He is a well recognized international speaker and author.