AHDB Clears Up Trichinella Testing Confusion

11 February 2016, at 12:00am

UK - There still seems to be some confusion over the testing regime as part of the EU control for trichinella.

Breeding boars and sows and all finished pigs from non-controlled housing must be tested before they can go into the human food chain.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is still working on a risk assessment and guidelines for producers to identify whether or not their system could be considered as non-controlled housing conditions.

The FSA estimates three per cent of the total pigs sent to slaughter will be in the category of non-controlled housing, ie organic and free range. A definition of free range can be found at

Guidance is being developed to determine how to classify other production systems in line with EU rules. This will be available soon. In the meantime, the FSA says producers must come to their own decision on the issue.

In the past, the UK tested all breeding sows and boars. At the same time, some firms have also been testing pig carcases as part of the requirements for their export trade.

The larger abattoirs will have their own testing facilities and may be willing to open those up to smaller ones without the equipment.

The existing evidence indicates that there is a very low risk to public health in the UK from trichinella.
The FSA also provides extensive advice to consumers on the safe and hygienic preparation and cooking of pork.

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