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International Egg and Poultry Review: EU

by 5m Editor
14 December 2005, at 12:00am

By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry, this week looking at EU food hygiene.

International Egg and Poultry Review - By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry, this week looking at EU food hygiene.

The European Union and Japan: New Food Import Standards

The EU and Japan have new food import standards that will go into effect in 2006. The new EU regulations will go into effect January 1, 2006 and Japan’s new regulations are to take effect in March 2006.

EU Food Hygiene Legislation

In January 2000, after a spate of food scandals and the BSE crisis, the European Commission published the White Paper on Food Safety. The paper set out a legislative action plan for a pro-active new food policy. Key elements were the establishment of a framework regulation, the development of an independent European Food Authority, the development of specific food and feed safey legislation including a major overhaul of the existing hygiene legislation, and the creation of a framework for harmonized food controls. Commonly called the “Farm to Fork” approach, it covers all sectors of the food and feed chain, with traceability as its basic concept.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was established in 2002 to provide independent scientific advice for EU legislation and policies in all fields that have an impact on food and feed safety and to inform the general public of risks in the food chain.

The new food hygiene legislation will go into effect on January 1, 2006. The European Commission published a Guidance Document on certain key questions related to import requirements and the new rules on food hygiene and on official food controls on June 29, 2005. The document contains references to import procedures, food hygiene requirements, animal health requirements and animal welfare requirements at time of slaughter, among other things. Japan Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is involved in food safety risk management, mainly through food labeling via Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS) Law. JAS Law also covers organic food standards.

JAS Law is going through a major revision as part of the current administration’s reform policy calling for a smaller government. Existing JAS law only deals with generic product quality and production methods. The new JAS standard will be able to deal with more sophisticated products and technologies. MAFF’s certification program will be replaced by private sector institutions. Allergen labeling will be required by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) on foods containing any of the five ingredients known to cause signification allergic reactions: egg, milk, wheat, buckwheat and peanuts. MHLW also recommends that 20 additional possible allergens, including chicken, be listed on the label when present in food
Source: EC Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General; Commission of the European Communities “White Paper on Food Safety”; USDA/FAS; news wires

To view the full report, including tables please click here (PDF Format)

Source: USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service - 13th December 2005

5m Editor