QeA to EU Commission – Imports of chlorinated chicken under the TTIP agreement

The following answer, given by the EU Commission, probably won’t stop galloping fears in the fiercest opposers of TTIP …but could help…

The point is not under discussion, in EU no similar treatment is or will be authorised in light of the TTIP: and if it will ever be, will be under EFSA scrutiny and not as a substitute of correct food hygiene practices, but as additional tool to enhance the safety of the final product. Poultry meat is one of the most “naturally “contaminated” raw material in the supply chain (high presence of Salmonella, Campylobacter etc…).

“Subject:  Imports of chlorinated chicken under the TTIP agreement

In recent months, there has been increased concern expressed by consumer organisations across the EU that imports of chlorinated chicken from the US to the EU may be allowed under a TTIP agreement and may, in the process, undermine the economic viability of poultry production in the EU.

Can the Commission therefore guarantee that imports of chlorinated chicken from the US to the EU will not be permitted under any TTIP agreement?

Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission – 3rd May 2016

In relation to antimicrobial treatments of meat or carcasses, the EU allows for the approval of such treatments, provided that they are considered safe by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In particular, they must only be used under strict conditions, fully respecting the stringent hygiene requirements that Union legislation requires to be applied all along the food chain process.

No antimicrobial treatments will be approved in the EU unless there is a clear scientific assessment confirming that they are beneficial for consumers (i.e. reduction of microbial contamination and reduction of safety risks). The Commission will not authorise the use of antimicrobial treatments as a replacement for hygiene practices but only as an additional tool to enhance the safety of the final product.

There is currently no application for the approval of chlorine as a substance to treat poultry carcasses and no discussion on the acceptance of chlorinated chicken in the EU as a result of the negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.”

(Source: EU Parliament)

Food recalls in EU – Week 49/2015

This week on the EU RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we can find the following notifications:

1. Alerts followed by a recall from consumers:

2. Information for attention/for follow up followed by a recall from consumers:

3. Alerts followed by a withdrawal from the market:

4. Seizures:

5. Border rejections:

  • absence of health certificate(s) for chilled okra from India
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 27.3 / Tot. = 36.8 µg/kg – ppb) in dried figs from Turkey
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 27.8; Tot. = 29.7 µg/kg – ppb) in pistachios from Iran and (B1 = 40; Tot. = 47 µg/kg – ppb) from the United States
  • aflatoxins (B1 = 9.0; Tot. = 11 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts from Argentina
  • bacterial contamination (9; 36; 27; 18; 36; 9; 18 CFU/g) of canned tuna in vegetable oil from Thailand
  • dead insects and excrements of insects in dried split ginger root from Nigeria infested with moulds (81,76 %)
  • fosthiazate (0.101 mg/kg – ppm) in chilled sweet peppers from Turkey
  • mercury (0.61 mg/kg – ppm) in red scorpionfish (Scorpaena scrofa) from Tunisia
  • methomyl (0.13 mg/kg – ppm) in chilled strawberries from Egypt
  • propamocarb (0.055 mg/kg – ppm) and pyridalyl (0.064 mg/kg – ppm) in chilled strawberries from Egypt
  • Salmonella (1 out of 5 samples /25g) in betel leaves from India
  • unauthorised use of colour E 124 – Ponceau 4R / cochineal red A (87 mg/kg – ppm) in custard powder from Colombia