The European Commission has just published Commission Regulation (EU) 216/2014 of 7 March 2014amending Regulation (EC) 2075/2005 laying down specific rules on official controls for Trichinella in meat.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) adopted on 3 October 2011 a Scientific Opinion on the public health hazards to be covered by inspection of meat (swine). In that opinion EFSA identified Trichinella as a medium risk for public health related to the consumption of pig meat and concludes that with respect to inspection methods for biological hazards, a pork carcass safety assurance, with a range of preventive measures and controls applied both on-farm and at slaughterhouse in an integrated way is the only way to ensure an effective control of the main hazards. EFSA identified certain epidemiological indicators in relation to Trichinella. Depending on the purpose and the epidemiological situation of the country the indicators may be applied at national, regional, slaughterhouse or holding level. EFSA recognises the sporadic presence of Trichinella in the Union, mainly in free-ranging and backyard pigs. EFSA also identified that the type of production system is the single main risk factor for Trichinella infections. In addition, available data demonstrate that the risk of Trichinella infection in pigs from officially recognised controlled housing conditions is negligible.
On the other hand, a negligible risk status for a country or region is no longer recognised in an international context by the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE). Instead, such recognition is linked to compartments of one or more holdings applying specific controlled housing conditions.
For reasons of consistency with international standards, and in order to enhance a control system in accordance with the actual public health risks, the Trichinella risk mitigation measures, including import conditions, at slaughterhouses and the conditions for determination of the Trichinella infection status of countries, regions or holdings should be adapted, rationalised and simplified.
Saturday March 8, 2014/ OJEU/ European Union.