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  • Writer's pictureUNISON Food Members

Summary of Regulations for Official Controls of Products of Animal Origin

Article written by Ron Spellman, originally for the AMI Hygienist July 2019

This legislation covers Meat Inspection, other meat official controls and Milk and marine products.

Regulation 854/2004, which came into force in 2006, governs Meat Inspection and other meat controls, it will be repealed and cease to exist in December 2019.  It will be replaced by Regulation 2017/625, which covers official controls of all food.

The sections of 625 that replace 854 and specifically deal with official controls of meat are called Delegated and Implementing Acts to Article 18 of 2017/625.

This all sounds a bit confusing but if you’re an MHI or OV its very important and some of the changes are big and pretty bad for those carrying out meat controls or consumers receiving the product less thoroughly inspected.

There are three definitions of the OV’s work.

“By the OV”,these functions must be preformed by the OV personally.

“Under the supervision of the OV”, these tasks can be carried out by an MHI as long as the OV is on site to supervise the inspection.

“Under the responsibility of the OV”, the meat inspector can do this work without the OV being on site to supervise it.

Changes to Ante Mortem inspection have been decided and published in February, ante mortem may be carried out on the farm of provenance by an, “Approved Veterinarian”.  A re-inspection could then be carried out at the abattoir by an OA (MHI).

OAs may also carry out practical tasks, under the supervision of the OV, so the OV must be on site. 

The new legislation is said to be more risk based, we’ve all heard this phrase many times and it usually means reducing inspection and control, visual only inspection of pigs would be one example of this approach, but the science behind that change is questionable and it’s easy to believe that the process started with identifying the changes desired by member states and then looked to find some, “Science”, to support what had already been decided. 

There is to be a focus on, “Food Safety”, but this may well mean that if it’s decided abscesses are not a food safety issue they don’t need to be dealt with by official controls.

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