Connect with us

Food

The EU is updating import controls on food of non-animal origin

blogaid.org

Published

on

The EU is updating import controls on food of non-animal origin

The European Commission has changed the level of inspections on several imported products, including pistachios from the United States.

The revised legislation determines the number of official controls and special conditions for food and feed of non-animal origin imported into Europe. Rules are adjusted every six months.

Decisions are based on reports in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) and information from documents, identity and physical inspections by EU countries in the second half of 2023.

The frequency of identification and physical checks on consignments of betel leaves from India for Salmonella has been increased to 50 percent due to the high rate of non-compliance.

Findings from official controls by Member States have resulted in sesame seeds from Uganda being tested for Salmonella at a higher rate of 30 percent.

Aflatoxin-related changes
Pistachios, mixtures and products made from pistachios sourced from the United States and shipped from Turkey to the EU, have been subject to stricter controls and special conditions upon entry into Europe since June 2023 due to the risk of contamination with aflatoxins. Official controls by Member States Compliance has improved, which will reduce controls from 50 to 30 percent of shipments.

Vanilla extract from the US will continue to be checked for pesticide residues at a 20 percent frequency. The checks on peanuts and peanut butter also remain at 20 percent for aflatoxins.

The frequency of checks on hazelnuts, mixtures and products made from hazelnuts from Georgia for aflatoxins has been reduced from 30 to 20 percent.

Controls on spice mixes from Pakistan have been reduced from 50 to 30 percent. Despite the fact that groundnuts and groundnut products from Ghana had not been imported into Europe for three years, controls were set at 50 percent.

Rules for checking Brazil nuts from Brazil and groundnuts from Sudan for aflatoxins have been changed as such products have not been imported into the EU for more than three years.

Controls on a range of products from Ethiopia, including pepper of the genus Piper, certain dried, ground or milled fruits, ginger, saffron, turmeric (turmeric), thyme, bay leaves, curry and other spices were reduced from 50 percent to 30 percent. per cent.

Aflatoxin controls on nutmeg from Indonesia have been increased to 50 percent.

Checks on shipments of dried figs, mixtures and products made from dried figs from Turkey have been reduced from 30 percent to 20 percent. Controls on pistachio nuts, mixtures and pistachio products have been relaxed from 50 percent to 30 percent.

Ethylene oxide changes
A number of changes have been made to ethylene oxide controls.

Stricter controls on carob trees and carob seeds from India have been lifted after being in place since December 2021. Controls on guar gum due to the risk of contamination with pentachlorophenol, dioxins and ethylene oxide have also been abolished.

Food additive mixtures containing locust bean gum or guar gum, vanilla and cloves from India have been subject to stricter controls and special conditions due to ethylene oxide since January 2022. An improvement in performance means that it is no longer necessary for each shipment to be accompanied by an official certificate declaring that all sampling and analysis results demonstrate compliance with EU regulations. However, checks will continue at a rate of 20 percent.

However, inspections by Member States identified a high level of non-compliance for nutmeg, mace and cardamom from India as regards ethylene oxide. Checks will be introduced at a frequency of 30 percent.

Stricter controls on carob beans and carob seeds from Turkey have been abolished. Food additive mixtures containing locust bean gum from Turkey have had stricter controls and special conditions upon entry into Europe since May 2022. The need for an official certificate proving compliance with EU rules is no longer required, but checks are set at a rate of 30 percent.

Tightened controls on instant noodles containing spices and herbs or sauces from South Korea and Vietnam, and on mixtures of food additives containing locust bean gum from Malaysia, have been relaxed.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)