Draft information and guidance on the testing of milk for antibiotic residues
Friday 5 October 2007
The key objectives of the Information and Guidance are to ensure that interested parties have a clear and detailed understanding of the legislative requirements, and to explain what a positive result in an antibiotic screen test means and outline the options for further action.
All comments and views should be sent to:
Dairy Hygiene Branch
Food Standards Agency
Room 816B, Aviation House
London WC2B 6NH
Tel: 0207 276 8987
Fax: 0207 276 8908
Responses are requested by: 28 December 2007
Please note that stakeholders in Scotland may send their responses to our Aberdeen office. Contact details are provided below.
The aim is for this guidance to be incorporated into an Industry Guide being developed by the dairy industry in partnership with all relevant stakeholders to provide advice on compliance with regulatory requirements.
Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 lays down hygiene rules for food of animal origin and Annex III Section IX sets out requirements relating to raw milk and dairy products. These include a requirement that food business operators initiate procedures to ensure that raw milk is not placed on the market if it contains antibiotic residues in excess of regulated limits. In practice in the UK testing for antibiotic residues may be undertaken by food businesses at various points in the supply chain, including on farm.
The proposed Information and Guidance was drawn up in consultation with an independent expert group on antibiotics in milk which also advised the FSA on scientific and practical aspects surrounding the control of antibiotic residues in milk. The independent group included representatives from the dairy industry, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate and LACORS and information about its work can be found at the link below. The draft guidance is intended to provide advice on compliance with the legislation and ensure uniform best practice.
The proposed guidance sets out an explanantion of the marketing, disposal and information flow requirements following the antibiotic testing of milk. It provides this information for testing carried out by milk producers and by milk purchasers and/or processors. It also carries the principal message that where raw milk gives a positive result to a rapid antibiotic screen test, the food business operator has two options:
- reject the milk and send it for disposal in accordance with the rules laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002 on animal by-products
- carry out identification and quantification of the antibiotic by appropriate chemical testing
We would like your views on the draft guidance. In particular there are certain issues highlighted in the text of the Guidance on which we would particularly welcome comments.
Comments are requested on the suggested frequency at which purchasers/processors should make arrangements to notify positive antibiotic test results on milk samples taken from tankers or silos to the relevant competent authority, and on whether it should be the purchaser/processor which is responsible for notifying antibiotic test failures to the competent authority, or the owner of the milk. It is acknowledged that on occasion these may be one and the the same.
While we welcome any comments on the draft Impact Assessment for this guidance we would particularly seek further input to inform the assessment as follows:
- from all stakeholders on the costs of using and following the guidance – and particularly from small businesses
- from all stakeholders on the benefits of using and following the guidance
- from industry, an indication of the amount of milk which will prove suitable for use in the food chain, which prior to the issue of this guidance may otherwise have been sent for disposal
- all stakeholders on the sustainability aspects of the guidance
Contaminants, Hygiene, Additives & Shellfish Branch
Food Standards Agency Scotland
6th Floor St Magnus House
25 Guild Street
Aberdeen AB11 6NJ
tel: 01224 285154
fax: 01224 285168
email : email@example.com
This consultation has been prepared in accordance with the HM Government Code of Practice on Consultation, which states that a consultation must follow better regulation best practice, including carrying out an Impact Assessment (Regulatory Impact Assessment in Scotland). The assessment is included in the consultation documents.
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