E1996C0086

RECOMMENDATION OF THE EFTA SURVEILLANCE AUTHORITY No 86/96/COL of 10 July 1996 concerning a coordinated programme for the official control of foodstuffs for 1996

Official Journal L 296 , 21/11/1996 P. 0064 - 0066


RECOMMENDATION OF THE EFTA SURVEILLANCE AUTHORITY No 86/96/COL of 10 July 1996 concerning a coordinated programme for the official control of foodstuffs for 1996

THE EFTA SURVEILLANCE AUTHORITY,

Having regard to the European Economic Area Agreement, and in particular Article 109 and Protocol 1 thereof,

Having regard to the Surveillance and Court Agreement, and in particular Article 5 (2) (b) and Protocol 1 thereof,

Having regard to the Act referred to in point 50 of Chapter XII of Annex II to the EEA Agreement (Council Directive 89/397/EEC of 14 June 1989 on the official control of foodstuffs), and in particular Article 14 (3) thereof,

Whereas it is necessary with a view to the sound operation of the European Economic Area, to arrange for coordinated food inspection programmes within the EEA;

Whereas such programmes place emphasis on compliance with the foodstuffs legislation in force under the EEA Agreement, the protection of public health, consumer interests and fair trade practices;

Whereas simultaneous implementation of national programmes and coordinated programmes can provide information and experience on which to base future control activities;

Whereas Liechtenstein shall comply with the provisions of the acts referred to in Chapter XII of Annex II to the EEA Agreement by 1 January 2000; whereas Liechtenstein shall do its utmost to comply with the provisions of the acts referred to in that Chapter by 1 January 1997; whereas therefore Liechtenstein should not be included in this Recommendation for 1996;

Whereas Norway and Iceland have been consulted within the EFTA Foodstuffs Committee assisting the EFTA Surveillance Authority on 7 November 1995,

HAS ADOPTED THIS RECOMMENDATION:

1. It is recommended that during 1996 Norway and Iceland take samples and/or carry out inspections of the following, undertaking laboratory analysis where indicated:

(a) microbiological assessment of dried and fermented ready-to-eat meat and meat products;

(b) migration of plasticisers into foods;

(c) temperature of chilled foods on display for sale;

(d) benzo(a)pyrene in smoked pork products.

2. A coordinated programme of inspections is recommended to Norway and Iceland as a consequence of Article 14 (3) of the Act referred to in point 50 of Chapter XII of Annex II in the EEA Agreement (Council Directive 89/397/EEC). The subjects have been discussed with Norway and Iceland.

3. Where appropriate, for each subject, a method of analysis is suggested. As far as sampling is concerned, no uniform rates have been set. The number of samples taken should be extensive enough to provide an overview of the market in the foodstuffs concerned in Norway and Iceland.

4. The number of samples and the methods of analysis used should be mentioned or described briefly.

I. Microbiological assessment of dried and fermented ready-to-eat meats and meat products

Dried and fermented ready-to-eat meats and meat products sampled at the retail point of sale to the consumer are the subject of this element of the programme. The samples are to be subjected to microbiological examination for the presence of Salmonellae, E., Coli 0157:H7 and enumeration of Staphylococcus aureus. The products pH, water activity (Aw) are to be noted. The results are to be recorded in three categories: dry and semi-dry sausage, undried sausage and raw (country-style) hams.

II. Migration of plasticisers

Plasticisers (e.g. phosphoric esters, phthalic esters, stearic and adipic esters) are used to enhance the suppleness of plastic materials including those in contact with foods. These substances are known to contribute at a high level to the overall migration of substances from the plasticised plastics into foods/food stimulants. The objective of this element of the programme is to assess the compliance of plasticised materials used in contact with food with the limits established in the Act referred to in point 52 of Chapter XII of Annex II to the EEA Agreement (Commission Directive 90/128/EEC of 23 February 1990 relating to plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs).

III. Temperature control of chilled foods at the point of sale to the ultimate consumer

The Act referred to in point 54.j of Chapter XII of Annex II to the EEA Agreement (Council Directive 93/43/EEC of 14 June 1993 on the hygiene of foodstuffs) requires foods which are likely to support growth of pathogenic microorganisms or the formation of toxins to be kept at temperatures which would not result in a risk to health.

This element of the programme is aimed at determining the temperature of the following four categories of foods at the point of sale to the consumer, using accurate temperature monitoring equipment:

1. chilled cooked foods to be eaten without further reheating;

2. chilled cooked foods requiring reheating only (not a full cooking process) prior to consumption;

3. raw prepared foods to be eaten after a full heat process;

4. raw prepared foods to be eaten raw.

Temperatures are to be measured where possible by non-destructive methods.

IV. Benzo(a)pyrene in smoked pork products

The Act referred to in point 44 of Chapter XII of Annex II to the EEA Agreement (Council Directive 88/388/EEC of 22 June 1988 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to flavourings for use in foodstuffs and to source materials for their production) limits the levels of the smoked aroma substance 3,4-benzopyrene to 0,03 ìg/kg in foodstuffs. This element of the control programme is to assess the levels of benzo(a)pyrene in smoked pork products.

Done at Brussels, 10 July 1996.

For the EFTA Surveillance Authority

The President

Knut ALMESTAD