DIOXIN IN IRISH PIGMEAT : FEFAC calls for extension of obligatory HACCP rules to all feed business operators
Last week the Irish Government announced that laboratory results of animal feed and pork fat samples obtained by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) confirmed the presence of dioxins. Consequently, the FSAI is requiring the food industry to recall from the market all Irish pork products produced from pigs slaughtered in Ireland. This recall involves retailers, the hospitality sector and the Irish pig processing sector. Preliminary evidence indicates that the contamination problem is likely to have started in September 2008.
The FSAI is advising consumers, as a precautionary measure, not to consume Irish pork and bacon products at this time.
Investigations involving the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF) and the FSAI are continuing to determine the extent of the contamination and to identify the processors and products involved.
FEFAC President, Mr Pedro Corrêa de Barros, commented that the Dioxin and Dioxin-like PCB contamination of pigmeat of Irish origin by stating that "commercially produced compound feed was not involved in the new contamination case”. He noted, however, that "the incident was highly regrettable because it was completely preventable, if the bakery recycling plant had applied correctly the obligatory HACCP rules in place since 1 January 2006 under EU legislation (EU Regulation (EC) No 183/2005). The use of waste oil as fuel source in direct drying operations at food waste recycling plants as the most likely contamination cause, has been indeed identified as a potential dioxin source since 1998!”
He stressed the need to review the possible extension of obligatory HACCP rules for all feed business operators including food recycling plants and home mixing operations under the EU Feed Hygiene Regulation (EC) No 183/2005.
Official controls authorities can no longer deny that such operations are high-risk“activities.
Producing feed requires proper know-how and care and it is the duty of the control authorities to ensure that “non-professionals” do not put a chain at risk. As a matter of principle, FEFAC believes that companies holding a waste processing permit should not be authorised to recycle food waste into the feed chain. FEFAC in any case insists that the EU ban on the use of catering waste for feed purposes remains in place. European compound feed and premix manufacturers have made very positive experience with the application of HACCP–based feed safety assurance systems, reducing systematically contamination at source i.e. at raw material and raw material processing level.
An estimated 90% of all compound feed produced in the European Union (app 150 million tons annually) has been produced according to requirements laid down in the European Feed Manufacturers Guide (EFMC), the first officially assessed EU guidelines for the manufacturing of compound feed and premixtures.