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.

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.