October 28, 2016

EU Rejects Australian Privatized Meat Inspection System

The European Union has officially rejected Australia's privatized meat inspection system, according to a report released of the May 2012 audit. Australia's system, called the Australian Export Meat Inspection System (AEMIS) was implemented in September 2011. It was judged to be not in compliance with EU food safety regulations. The European Commission audit staff said that using company-paid inspectors to perform inspection of animal carcasses was a conflict of interest. The report states that "Australian Government Authorised Officers (AAOs) who are directly paid and employed by the food business operators did not meet the legal interpretation of an 'official auxiliary'. The competency of AAOs was not questioned."  The Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and forestry told … [Read more...]

After Horsemeat Scandal, EC Revises Food Safety Laws

Months after the discovery of a food fraud scandal in Europe where foods advertised as beef were found to contain horse DNA, the European Commission (EC) has announced revisions to its food safety laws that include increasing unannounced inspections and upping penalties.  Under the new law, fines must be equivalent to the economic gain from the violation.  "Crime must not pay. If penalties are low it does pay," said Tonio Borg, the EC's Health and Consumer Commissioner said during  a news conference in Brussels yesterday. European health officials spent months analyzing meat products after the Food Safety Authority of Ireland announced it had discovered horse DNA in a variety of products in January. Since that time, at leas 4,000 samples of meat have been tested and  three people have … [Read more...]

EU Will Test All Beef for Horse Meat

EU Health Commissioners Tonio Borg announced last week that meat products throughout Europe will undergo DNA testing to see if they contain horse meat. He said, "the tests will be on DNA in meat products in all member states." The horse meat scandal erupted in January 2013 after the Food Safety Authority of Ireland found horse DNA in some beef burger, salami, and beef meal products. Horse meat was also found in Findus lasagane sold in the UK. The findings increased concerns about labeling of food and security of Europe's food system; but there is another problem. Some of the horse meat may contain the harmful drug phenylbutazone, commonly known as "bute", that is given to race horses. That drug is not approved for human consumption. Bute can cause aplastic anemia, but the amounts in … [Read more...]

Sunland Peanut Butter Recall Reaches Europe

The Sunland peanut butter recall has reached Europe. Months after the recall due to Salmonella contamination was announced in the US, European  health officials are warning residents about the dangers associated with products containing Sunland peanut butter. Although the initial recall was said not to include products distributed in Europe, US authorities now say it’s possible that some recalled products were distributed to a number of European countries including the UK. The recalled products were likely not sold in supermarkets, but rather available for purchase over the Internet or from specialty shops that import American foods. The UK’s Food Standards Agency, which has requested, but not yet received, distribution information from the US authorities, has asked local authorities to … [Read more...]

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