Council Minutes, 28 November 2002
The Council held a policy debate on the proposal for a Regulation laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin (second proposal of "Hygiene package"), and agreed to return to the dossier at its next session (16-19 December 2002) in order to reach a political agreement on the subject. The aim of this proposal is to lay down specific rules for food business operators on the hygiene of food of animal origin (unprocessed and processed products of animal origin). Comments of the delegations focused on the issues of animals slaughtered on the farm, approval of establishments, health and identification marking, salmonella guarantees, comitology, minced meat, meat preparations and mechanically separated meat. Commissioner Byrne stressed that the work done until now paved the way for a political agreement and took note of the comments of delegations.
The Council also took note of the state of play on the amended proposal for a regulation laying down specific rules for the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption (third proposal of "Hygiene package") and instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to carry on its work on the dossier. The proposal aims at introducing auditing tasks carried out by veterinarians, control on the farm information, ante-mortem inspection, controls on the removal of specified risk materials (SRMs) and the animal welfare requirements. This would be done through a compulsory registration of all food businesses and the use of programmes for self-checking and modern hazard control techniques for food producers.