Report on meeting of Commission Working Group on Veterinary Legislation: 2 October 2006
Monday 30 October 2006
Food Hygiene Regulations implementing measures
This was a joint meeting of the Hygiene Working Group and the Animal By-Products Working Group. The meeting began by representatives of the hide, gelatine and collagen industries presenting a 'Guidance Note on the Safe Handling of Raw Hides and Skins'. The main purpose of the Guidance is to establish working practices to ensure that gelatine and collagen for human consumption are produced only from 'fit' hides and to enable hides and skins to be removed from slaughterhouses before the results of TSE tests have been received.
The Commission said that a revision of the Guidance and further joint meeting will be required to agree the Guidance's text. The Commission stated that once the text was agreed, the Guidance would be published in the 'C series' of the EU Official Journal and on the SANCO web site. A copy of the draft guidance is available at the link below.
The Commission introduced this item, seeking the views of Member States with regard to approval, registration, authorisation of tanneries etc under Hygiene and Animal by-products Regulations. The Commission pointed out that the Hygiene Regulations gave a 'third way' by which collection centres and tanneries may be 'specifically [authorised]'.
After Member States expressed views, the Commission offered to produce guidance.
Draft Commission Regulation laying down specific rules on official controls for the inspection of meat (SANCO/2696/2006)
The Commission introduced a draft Regulation that had resulted from the work of a small Working Group of Member States (including UK.) There was an initial discussion regarding post-mortem inspection and the extension of an option for visual only post-mortem inspection to other species.
The Commission said the proposal would be amended; Member States were invited to provide written comments. A copy of the draft regulation is available at the link below.
There was a discussion on informal Commission proposal to address fraud problems in cold stores by re-introduction of requirement to indicate freezing date of meat. Commission will seek the formal views of Member States at the next meeting.
The Commission prompted Member States to reply to its letter of 16 December 2005 seeking information about cold stores (not all had).
The approval of cold stores under the hygiene legislation was discussed. The UK stated that it had previously written to the Commission requesting clarification on this issue - the UK would forward the Commission a copy of the letter. The Commission stated that any amendments to the Regulations must be included in the process to review the Hygiene Regulations and would require co-decision.
The Commission stated that the food hygiene legislation review process would need to begin in late 2006 or early 2007, and that it should aim to have an agreed report by the end of 2008.
The date of the next meeting will be 6 November.