How European farm-to-fork rules will affect you

by 5m Editor
2 November 2004, at 12:00am

UK - When new European farm-to-fork legislation on food safety is introduced in Britain, pig producers will need to show they follow good-practice guidelines. The Food Standards Agency is currently consulting on this and details are available on its website.


National Pig Association

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers - fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

According to the agency, the requirements amount to "fairly basic hygiene procedures" as far as producers are concerned.

Hazards must be acceptably controlled but it will not be necessary to apply HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) procedures. Producers will have to be registered, but existing forms of registration may prove suitable for this. No details are available yet on how the new legislation will be enforced.

Best practice for pig producers will be based on the following rules (a lot of which are already in force in one way or another on pig units):

  • As far as possible, ensure primary products are protected against contamination, having regard to any processing they will subsequently undergo.

  • Comply with existing regulations covering the control of hazards; for instance, control contamination from the air, soil, water, feed, fertilisers, veterinary medicinal products, plant protection products and biocides; store, handle and disposal of waste correctly.

  • Store and handle feed in clean surroundings; after cleaning disinfect if necessary.

  • As far as possible ensure animals going to slaughter are clean.

  • Use clean water whenever necessary to prevent contamination.

  • Ensure that staff handling foodstuffs are in good health and are trained in health risks.

  • As far as possible prevent animals and pests from causing contamination.

  • Store and handle waste and hazardous substances so as to prevent contamination.

  • Prevent spread of contagious diseases transmissible to humans through food by taking precautionary measures when introducing new animals; report suspected outbreaks of such diseases.

  • Take account of the results of any relevant analyses carried out on samples taken from animals or other samples that have importance to human health.

  • Use feed additives and veterinary medicinal products correctly.

  • Keep and retain records relevant records.

Essentially Brussels wants the new legislation to be applied in such a way as to control hazards and ensure good hygiene is practiced by all primary producers. The examples it quotes include:

  • Control of contamination (for instance mycotoxins, heavy metals and radioactive material).

  • Correct use of water, organic waste and fertilisers; correct use of plant protection products and biocides and their traceability; correct and appropriate use of veterinary medicinal products and feed additives and their traceability; correct preparation, storage, use and traceability of feed; proper disposal of dead animals, waste and litter.

  • Protective measures to prevent the introduction of contagious diseases transmissible to humans through food; procedures, practices and methods to ensure that food is produced, handled, packed, stored and transported under appropriate hygienic conditions, including effective cleaning and pest-control.

  • Measures relating to the cleanliness of slaughter and production animals.

  • Measures relating to record-keeping.

Source: National Pig Association - 2nd November 2004

5m Editor