Parliament approved the two Commission proposals on food hygiene, albeit with a large number of mainly technical amendments. The Commission proposals are designed to recast EC legislation governing food hygiene, animal health aspects of food products of animal origin and official inspections of products of animal origin. The leitmotif of the new legislative package is that food operators must bear full responsibility for the safety of the food they produce.
Amendments were adopted demanding that exceptions be made for traditional products such as local specialities. MEPs also felt that the regulation should not apply to the primary production of food for domestic use nor to the direct supply of small quantities of primary products such as honey, wild game, fish, home grown fruit etc. to the final consumer or to the local retail trade. Food business operators should also adopt specific hygiene measures and should annually undergo training by experts concerning aspects of food hygiene. This training should also cover legislation on the protection of health and prevention of infection.
Parliament also considered that the regulation should not apply to private use or the preparation of game meat for private use and to direct supplies of small quantities of wild game and game meat to the final consumer or the local retail trade. MEPs felt that where game and game meat were supplied directly by a hunter of the consumer or a retailer, this should be classified as traditional food production, for which special methods of marketing exist and to which sufficient flexibility should apply. From the point of view of public health, MEPs felt it was not necessary to provide for an exhaustive training programme concerning the hygiene of wild game and pathology for all 7 million hunters in the EU, as had been proposed.