FVO report – Canada: meat and meat products for export in EU

The report describes the outcome of an audit carried out by the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) in Canada from 2 to 15 May 2014.

The objective of the audit was to evaluate the capacity of the Canadian competent authorities (CA), the Canadian Food Safety Authority (CFIA) to implement and to enforce the sanitary measures and the control systems put in place to fulfil the requirements for fresh meat, meat products, minced meat and meat preparations and casings for human consumption intended for export to the European Union (EU) under the auspices of the “Agreement between the European Community and Canada on sanitary measures to protect public health and animal health in respect of trade in live animals and animal products.” The initial scope of the audit was extended to cover also the official controls in relation to veterinary medicinal products (VMP) and residues in live horses and horse meat.

The FVO audit team visited five slaughterhouses with integrated cutting plants (two of these visited by both sub-teams on different days for horses or bovines/bison) and one casing establishment. The FVO audit team also visited one border crossing (horses imported from the USA), three feed lots (horse, bovine and bison), one wholesaler and one retailer of VMPs as well as one CFIA area office.

No major problems were identified in relation to general and specific hygiene requirements in any of the slaughter establishments visited. However, the casing establishment which was not exporting to the EU at the time of the FVO audit did not fulfil the requirements for EU listing. The CFIA does not ensure that the lists of establishments approved for export to the EU are kept up to date and communicated to the Commission as required. After the FVO audit was announced several requests for de-listing of establishments were made by the CA.

The FVO audit also identified shortcomings in relation to official controls over the traceability of bovine animals and bison destined for export to the EU.

No shortcomings were identified in relation to the implementation of the CFIA Ractopamine-Free Pork Certification Programme. The Growth Enhancement Products (GEP) free programme for bovines and bison is well documented but deficiencies in the design and the implementation of the programme question its robustness.

There are serious concerns in relation to the reliability of the controls over both imported and domestic horses destined for export to the EU. It cannot be guaranteed that horses have not been treated with illegal substances within the last 180 days before slaughter.

The residue monitoring in horse meat has been largely implemented as foreseen and in line with Codex Alimentarius requirements but the effectiveness of follow-up of non-compliant results has been variable. Whilst the CFIA puts the responsibility for follow-up of non-compliances largely on the shoulders of the slaughterhouses, the CFIA does not always fulfil its obligations for verifying and ensuring the effectiveness of the follow-up investigations and corrective actions. The CFIA is in this regard hampered by a lack of direct powers over primary producers and transient agents (dealers).

Here you can find the response from the Competent Authority to the report recommendations.

Food recalls in EU – Week 18 – 2014

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have three recalls from consumers in EU in the alert notification:

– Food additives and flavourings: too high content of sulphite in sauce, following an official control on the market. Origin Thailand, notified by Denmark;

– Foreign bodies: glass fragments in ice shakes, following company’s own check. Origin Germany, notified by Germany, distributed also to Belgium;

– Mycotoxins: deoxynivalenol (DON) in corn cakes, following company’s own check. Origin Belgium, notified by France.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

– Incorrect labelling: undeclared presence of gluten and peanut in flavoured cereal bars, following an official control on the market. Origin United Kingdom, notified by United Kingdom, distributed also to Malta and Spain;

– Industrial contaminants: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in smoked sprats in oil, following an official control on the market. Origin Latvia, notified by Latvia, distributed also to Lithuania;

– Mycotoxins: aflatoxins in madras curry powder, following an official control on the market. Origin India (via United Kingdom), notified by Germany;

– Mycotoxins: aflatoxins in garlic cracker nuts, following an official control on the market. Origin Philippines (via Germany), notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium;

– Mycotoxins: aflatoxins in cracker nuts, following an official control on the market. Origin Philippines (via Germany), notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Shigatoxin producing Escherichia Coli in chilled unboned veal meat (vacuum packaged), following an official control on the market. Origin Netherlands, notified by Italy;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in raw goat milk cheese, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and United Kingdom;

– Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella Typhimurium in frozen turkey shoulders, following company’s own check. Origin Italy, notified by France;

Residues of veterinary medicinal products: residue level above MRL for sulfadiazine in porc meat, following company’s own check. Origin Belgium, notified by Belgium, distributed also to Germany, Netherlands and Poland.

In the wake of the Horsemeat scandal we have an interesting alert notification for:

– Residues of veterinary medicinal products: phenylbutazone and oxyphenylbutazone in horse meat, following an official control on the market. Origin Ireland, notified by Ireland, distributed also to Belgium, France and Netherlands.

Regarding border rejections we have, among the others, Salmonella Spp. in frozen salted chicken breast from Argentina, in frozen salted chicken half breasts and fillets from Brazil, Salmonella Mbandaka in hulled sesame seeds from India, Salmonella in paan/betel leaves from India, unauthorised use of colour E 110 – Sunset Yellow FCF in biscuits different flavours from the Dominican Republic, unsuitable transport conditions (rusty and deteriorated barrels) for honey from Moldova, omethoate and dimethoate in fresh green beans from Kenya, malathion in fresh peppers from Turkey, improper health certificate(s) for okra from India, aflatoxins in bitter apricot kernels from Uzbekistan (dispatched from Turkey), absence of health certificate(s) for corn sticks from China, parasitic infestation with Anisakis of chilled silver scabbardfish from Morocco and prohibited substance chloramphenicol in frozen dried shrimp mix from Myanmar.

For feed, we have an alert notification, followed by a withdrawal from the market:

– Poor or insufficient controls: hay unfit for animal nutrition (detected Colchicum), following company’s own check. Origin Germany, notified by Netherlands.

For food contact materials we have two alert notification, followed by a withdrawal from the market:

– Migration of primary aromatic amines from solid spoons, following an official control on the market. Origin Netherlands (via United Kingdom), notified by Ireland;

– Migration of primary aromatic amines from spaghetti ladle, following an official control on the market. Origin United Kingdom, notified by Ireland.

We have also a border rejection for migration of melamine from melamine plates from China.

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