Written QeA to EU Commission – Traceability of milk powder

Question for written answer
to the Commission
Aldo Patriciello (PPE)

10th September 2014

Subject:  Traceability and indication of milk powder

In the last two decades the demand for ‘mozzarella’, that is to say, the product with a protected designation of origin, has increased enormously, and producers have consequently had to deal with a situation in which the demand for milk has exceeded supply.

In some European countries, therefore, the milk is made from milk powder (which is recycled and used several times) and then sold to producers.

This fact also implies that milk powder should be identifiable and traceable.

In the light of the foregoing, does not the Commission believe that, to avoid the continued use of recycled powdered milk, inspection and traceability procedures (as well as indication procedures) should be laid down for milk powder?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission – 30th October 2014

Mozzarella benefiting from a protected geographical indication must respect very strict manufacturing requirements. As such, milk powder cannot be used in the production of such mozzarella products.

However, milk powder, produced in dairy plants approved under EC law, may be used in the manufacturing process of non-protected mozzarella.

Under Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, any food (including food ingredients) must be safe. If a food or food ingredient is not safe, it must not be used in any food manufacturing process.

The abovementioned Regulation also requires the traceability of any substance intended to be, or expected to be, incorporated into a food at all stages of production, processing and distribution. In that respect, it requires food business operators to be able to identify from whom and to whom a product has been supplied as well as to have systems and procedures in place that allow traceability information to be made available to the competent authorities upon request.

Finally, Directive 2000/13/EC does not require a list of ingredients in the case of cheese, provided that no ingredient has been added other than lactic products, enzymes and micro-organism cultures essential to manufacture, or the salt needed for the manufacture of cheese other than fresh cheese and processed cheese.

(Source: European Parliament website)

Thank God it’s Friday! Quick news from the food world (Week 40)

Here’s my article’s selection for the week:

ASIA

– Sri Lanka suspends sale of Fonterra milk powder batches over illnesses, by Mark Astley+ , on foodnavigator-asia.com: Sri Lanka has suspended the sale of three batches of Fonterra-made Anchor milk powder after complaints of illness in children. The company is heavily criticizing the testing methods adopted by Authorities.

CHOCOLATE

– Chocolate for the summertime: Hershey develops heat resistant chocolate, by Oliver Nieburg+, on confectionerynews.com: Hershey has developed its own method to produce chocolate that can withstand hot climates following similar moves from Mondelēz, Mars and Nestlé.

EU – UK

– UK’s traffic light label is ‘negative’, says Commission, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , 06-Oct-2014, on foodnavigator.com: the UK’s traffic light label has incited more objections than the Nordic keyhole system because the former is more negative in its nutrition guidance, says the European Commission.

– Horsemeat rears its head again, as firm is fined £5,000, by Laurence Gibbons+, on foodmanufacture.co.uk: Horsemeat has reared its head again after food import firm Expo Foods Ltd was fined £5,000, yesterday (October 2), after its pork sausagemeat was found to contain nearly 50% horsemeat.

– Does ‘history of safe consumption’ mean foods are safe?, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , on foodnavigator.com: proposals to create a separate process for novel food approval from countries outside of the EU will not see the market flooded with unsafe foods, a European Commission official told a concerned audience at a European Parliament workshop.

– Hot political potatoes: DG SANCO head talks suspended caffeine and bowel botanical claims, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , on nutraingredients.com: the pending health claims for caffeine and bowel-function botanical hydroxyanthracene are the “hot potatoes” being dealt with by EFSA and the European Commission, according to the head of the Commission’s unit for nutrition, food composition and information (DG SANCO).

JAPAN

– McDonald’s Japan forecasts big 2014 loss after food safety scare, on fortune.com: facing tough competition from domestic convenience stores, McDonald’s Japan had been suffering from weak demand even before the food safety scare, in which a major Chinese supplier of chicken meat was found to be in breach of safety standards. Now the company is also under pressure in Russia, where McDonald’s it is under the aim of retorsive measures for the economic sanctions imposed by Western countries.

RUSSIA – ASF CRISIS

– MEPS demand more action to stop spread of ASF, by Méabh McMahon, in Brussels, on globalmeatnews.com: the European Commission’s response to Europe’s African swine fever (ASF) crisis was criticised at the European Parliament yesterday (Tuesday 7 October) for being too weak.

USA

– Is a new organization to define “natural” a good idea?, by Michele Simon, on foodlawfirm.com: a point of view about the discussed and abused term “natural” in US: