FSA Board agrees restrictions on raw milk should remain

The FSA Board met to discuss the findings of the comprehensive review of the regulations that control the sale of unpasteurised, or raw, drinking milk.

The review concluded that:

  • the risk associated with raw drinking milk consumption, except for vulnerable groups, is acceptable when appropriate hygiene controls are applied
  • the current restriction on sales of raw milk should remain in place as there is uncertainty that consumer protection can be maintained if the market for raw milk is expanded
  • risk communication could be improved, particularly for vulnerable groups, and changes to the labelling requirements are proposed to reflect this

The Board accepted the conclusions of the review.  However, they noted concerns that consumers should be more aware of the risks and asked that the FSA be clear in its advice not to drink raw milk.

The Board noted reports of non-compliance in the industry and agreed that supporting improvements in compliance should be a focus for FSA action.

In a development to the FSA’s approach to the control of ‘risky’ foods, the Board agreed that we will now identify triggers relating to outbreaks, detection of pathogens in raw drinking milk samples, and changes in the retail market for raw drinking milk that would require a further discussion of risks and controls. This will be facilitated by regular reporting of compliance in this sector to the Board.

The FSA reviewed the current controls to make sure they are clear, consistent and control the public health risks associated with raw milk. The review covered England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Sale of raw drinking milk is banned in Scotland.

The consultation considered a number of options. These ranged from removing restrictions on sales through to introducing a requirement for all milk to be pasteurised prior to sale.

(Source: FSA Website)

UK recent notifications to the EU Commission

English: Home nations flag of the United Kingd...
English: Home nations flag of the United Kingdom. A combination of four flags of the four constituent countries of the UK: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The following document, courtesy of Luis Gonzalez Vaque and of the British Institute of International law and Comparative Law, it’s really interesting for the future of labelling in UK and for the enforcement of the FIC Regulation 1169/11.

“United Kingdom: List of recent notifications to the European Commission* under Directive 98/34/EC**

◊ Notification Number: 2013/446/UK– End of Standstill Period: 07-Nov-2013 – The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007:

These draft Regulations amend Schedule 2 to the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007 by substituting new waste packaging and recovery targets for the years 2012 to 2017 and an amended formula for the calculation of the amount of glass packaging waste that a producer must recycle by re-melt. The amended formula reflects government’s express intention and policy and ensures that the glass recycling by re-melt target is applied to a producer’s glass recycling obligation and not his total obligated glass tonnage.

To consult the full text of the draft proposal, see: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/tris/pisa/app/search/index.cfm?fuseaction=getdraft&inum=1938309

 

◊ Notification Number: 2013/394/UK– End of Standstill Period: 21-Oct-2013 – The draft Food Information Regulations 2013, The draft Food Information Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013, The draft Food Information (Scotland) Regulations 2013, The draft Food Information (Wales) Regulations 2013:

 

The respective sets of draft Food Information Regulations (the draft Regulations) provide for the execution and enforcement in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, amending Regulations (EC) No 1924/2006 and (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Commission Directive 87/250/EEC, Council Directive 90/496/EEC, Commission Directive 1999/10/EC, Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Commission Directives 2002/67/EC and 2008/5/EC and Commission Regulation (EC) No 608/2004.

 

The draft Regulations also take advantage of derogations and make use of the flexibility to introduce certain national measures permitted by the EU Regulation.

 

The Food Labelling Regulations 1996 (as amended) in England, Scotland and Wales and equivalent Regulations in Northern Ireland, which implement existing EU legislation on food labelling, will be revoked and replaced by the four sets of Food Information Regulations 2013.

 

As provided for by Article 44.2 of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011, the UK proposes to introduce national measures concerning the means by which allergen information for foods sold non-prepacked can be provided.

 

Regulation 5(3) of the draft Food Information Regulations 2013 (the FIR Regulations 2013), regulation 5(3) of the Food Information Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013 (the FIR Northern Ireland Regulations), regulation 6(3) of the draft Food Information (Scotland) Regulations 2013 (the FIR Scotland Regulations) and regulation 5 (3) of the Food Information (Wales) Regulations 2013 (the FIR Wales Regulations) cover foods that are not prepacked which contain an allergenic substance or product as listed in Annex II to (EU) No Regulation 1169/2011 or contain a substance or product derived from an Annex II substance or product. In relation to those foods, Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 requires details to be provided about the relevant substance or product used in the manufacture or preparation of such food but Article 44.2 of the EU Regulation allows flexibility in how this information is to be provided. The UK is intending to allow the information to be provided by food business operators in any way they wish, including orally subject to conditions.

 

Where a food business operator intends to use oral means of providing details of allergenic ingredients used in non-prepackaged food, they must indicate in writing that details (of the Annex II substance) can be obtained by asking a member of staff. This indication must be provided on a label attached to the food or on a notice, menu, ticket or label that is readily discernible by the consumers at the place where they choose that food.

 

As provided for in Article 44.1(a), the UK proposes to introduce a national measure for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to carry forward requirements to provide additional mandatory particulars in relation to the name of the product on non-prepacked food.

 

Regulation 6 of the FIR Regulations 2013, regulation 6 of the FIR Northern Ireland Regulations 2013, regulation 5 of the FIR Scotland Regulations 2013, and regulation 8 of FIR Wales Regulation 2013 cover foods that are not prepacked and foods that are prepacked for direct sale and require a Food Business Operator, who offers for sale a food to which this regulation applies at premises where sales are made to final consumers, to provide the name of the food.

 

As provided for in Article 44.1(b), the UK proposes to introduce a national measure for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to retain mandatory requirements to provide Quantitative Ingredients Declarations (QUID) on the meat content of certain meat products sold non-prepacked. Currently, UK food labelling legislation applies the QUID requirements to prepacked food and specifically meat products when sold loose e.g. meat pies from a butcher’s counter. As before, the national measure requiring a QUID in relation to the meat content of certain meat products will not apply to foods such as soup, pizzas, sandwiches and food sold from caterers.

 

Regulation 7 of the FIR Regulations 2013, regulation 7 of the FIR Northern Ireland Regulations 2013, regulation 7 of the FIR Scotland Regulations 2013, and regulation 7 of FIR Wales Regulations 2013 cover this proposal and relate to products containing meat and other ingredients for NPP foods, for which a QUID must be provided for the ingredients of the food that are meat.

 

To consult the full text of the draft proposal, see: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/tris/pisa/app/search/index.cfm?fuseaction=getdraft&inum=1930910

  

* Compiled and edited by Cristina Vidreras, cristinavidreras@yahoo.es. We publish this list for the purpose of disclosing information about notifications to the European Commission under Directive 98/34/EC. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, errors may occur in the information from time to time because of unavoidable difficulties caused by technical difficulties. In all such instances, we assume no responsibility for any damages or losses that may be suffered by any party as a consequence of such inaccurate information or misprints.

 

** Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations.”

 

The notifications contains a lot of more interesting aspect, which I will examine as soon as possible in a new post. I encourage all of us to leave comments and observations on the notifications.