Food Law News - UK - 2007

FSA Local Authority Letter (ENF/E/07/047), 15 August 2007

MILK HYGIENE - FVO Missions to the UK

1. FVO Mission on Tuberculosis (10-17 September 2007)

The Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) of the European Commission has notified us that it will be undertaking a Mission from 10 – 17 September 2007 to evaluate the UK 's Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Programme. The FVO has already indicated that it will be checking application of the rules at dairy processing establishments.

In preparation for the Mission , I am writing to Food Authorities to remind them of the guidance on Officially Tuberculosis Free Status and the Dairy Hygiene legislation contained in Food Law Practice Guidance ( England ). We will need to demonstrate that the official controls in the dairy sector operate effectively and that the appropriate action is taken on notification to a Food Authority that a dairy herd has lost its Officially Tuberculosis Free status. It is particularly important that action is taken to ensure that milk from non-reactor animals is heat treated and is not used for raw milk based products. An extract of the relevant guidance is enclosed for ease of reference. Please note that it has been updated to reflect recent organisational changes within Defra.

2. FVO Mission on Application of EU Hygiene Rules in the Dairy and Meat Sector (8-19 October 2007)

a) Dairy sector

As notified to you in my letter of May 2007 (Ref: ENF/E/07/032), the FVO will also be carrying out a Mission in the UK from 8 – 19 October 2007 to evaluate the follow-up action taken by the competent authorities in response to the recommendations from the two Missions in 2006 which covered the dairy sector.

A key recommendation from the November Mission was ‘to actively verify the implementation of the Regulations in all dairy establishments', which relates in particular to the revised approach to the control of milk containing antibiotic residues set out in my previous letter (Ref: ENF/E/06/068). Since, under the Code of Practice, approved dairy establishments are required to be visited twice a year, all should have received an inspection at which operation of the revised approach will have been verified. If this is not the case, an inspection should take place as soon as possible.

b) Meat Sector

As part of the FVO Mission to the UK in October 2007 the Mission Inspectors have asked to look at meat products establishments, establishments producing minced meat, meat preparations and mechanically separated meat, and establishments processing casings and gelatine. As the Central Competent Authority, we are required to maintain and publish, on the website, lists of all the approved premises in these product areas. David Berrecloth's letter of 15 May 2007 to Heads of Environmental Health Services ( England ) (ref ENF/E/07/029) sought local authority help to collect information for those areas where no list existed and to ensure that the existing lists were up-to-date. The purpose of this note is to remind all local authorities who have not yet responded to our letter of 15 May to please do so as soon as possible. The Commission will want to see lists of premises on the FSA website when they come in October and it would be helpful if they were up-to-date. Many thanks for your help with this exercise

The reports of the Missions (DG (SANCO)8190/2006 and DG(SANCO)8323/2006) have now been published and can be viewed on the FVO website:

To go to main Foodlaw-Reading Index page, click here.