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European insect producers release an EU Guidance document on best hygiene practices for the insect sector

26 February 2019, at 12:00a.m.

EU - The International Platform of Insects for Food & Feed (IPIFF), which is the EU umbrella organisation for the insect production sector, unveiled a guidance document on the best practices in quality and hygienic insect production

The paper is available on the IPIFF website. Initiated in November 2016, the draft Guide contains general recommendations for operators active in the production of insects for food and/or feed to implement best hygiene practices with a view to achieving high levels of consumer protection and animal health.

Developed in the framework of the EU food and feed safety legislation, IPIFF has transmitted the document today to the European Commission services, in view of its assessment by the EU Members States representatives. "Pending discussion and endorsement by the European Commission and national authorities, the document may constitute a useful tool for all insect producing companies or those who intend to engage in insect production to implement EU food and feed Regulations", explained Antoine Hubert, the IPIFF President.

Focusing on food and feed hygiene, the Guide aims to reflect standards being followed by European insect producers, covering both food and feed production activities, from breeding to final processing; "We trust this document could serve as valuable source of information to EU and national public authorities, especially at a time when EU policy makers are reflecting on the possible authorisation of insect proteins in poultry feed and several novel food applications covering insects as food are in the pipeline" added the IPIFF Chair.

Besides food and feed safety hygiene guidance, IPIFF has also published today some general recommendations for ensuring high standards of animal welfare in insect production’ (document available here). In the past, the insect organisation also developed some guidelines to support insect producers in the implementation of the EU novel food legislation (the document is available here). Through an accompanying Questions & Answers document (click here), IPIFF explains that insect producers should also conform with a series of obligations in areas such as environment protection or infrastructure management, those being subjects regulated at a national level.

"We trust that all these works will be useful for insect producers to conform with applicable legislations. These efforts also contribute towards building a responsible industry and maximising our contribution towards more competitive and sustainable food and feed value chains", emphasised the IPIFF Vice President, Adriana Casillas.

"Insect proteins constitute a complementary source of protein and can play a decisive role to reduce nutrient deficiencies in animal feed formula or to complement consumers diets: in order to fully exploit this potential, the insect production sector also relies on solid rules and guidance for those operators to implement them," explained the IPIFF Vice Chair.

Drafted under the initiative of the IPIFF association, the Guide remains of voluntary nature. "However, we trust that it can in the future be used in the framework of official controls so as to show compliance with food and feed safety obligations. It may also serve as a point of reference for insect production activities taking place outside Europe or for the development certification schemes covering insect production", explained Lars-Henrik Lau Heckmann, the IPIFF Board Member in charge of research and hygiene practices.

IPIFF will present and explain the Guide on the occasion of a Workshop targeted at all companies active or planning to engage in insect production. This event will take place on 27th May in Copenhagen. The Secretariat will provide further information about this event in due time.

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2007-2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in the global poultry industry and agri-food chain.

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