Food Legislation and Standards News Ireland

Food Safety – news & highlights Autumn 2021

Brexit & the Agri-Food Sector – Webinar 09 September 2021 – “Exporting Agri-Food Goods to GB from 1 October 2021”

This “joint webinar with UK Government will provide details on securing health certification and the procedures and systems at borders”

“This webinar will outline the processes for moving agri-food products between EU and GB, including the new GB import requirements to be introduced from 1 October 2021 and 1 January 2022 as outlined in the UK Border Operating Model.

LINK to register for this WEBINAR 09 September

The event will focus on moving agri-food products from EU to GB after 1 October. It will provide practical details about securing export health certification and the procedures and systems at the borders. Following presentations from UK and Irish Government officials there will be an exchange with UK and Irish Trade Associations that covers the main challenges and issues. The event will conclude with a question and answer session with UK and Irish officials.”

INFOSAN Q2 report 2021 – shows Salmonella having highest incident rate
(INFOSAN = global network of national food safety authorities, managed jointly by FAO and WHO with the secretariat in WHO.)

“The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) has been fostering an integrated and cross-sectoral approach to food safety emergency preparedness and response by connecting food safety authorities since 2004”

Food safety incidents – According to Infosan’s Quarter two report 2021 Salmonella having highest incident rate followed by Listeria monocytogenes

“During the second quarter of 2021, the INFOSAN Secretariat was involved in 63 food safety incidents involving 77 WHO Member States. There were 38 incidents involving a biological hazard [Salmonella spp. (19), Listeria monocytogenes (9), Clostridium botulinum (4), Hepatitis A (3), Yersinia enterocolitica (2), Escherichia coli (1)]; 11 involving an undeclared allergen/ingredient [milk (6), cashew (1), eggs (1), gluten (1), shellfish (1), soy (1)]; nine involving a physical hazard [glass (4), plastic (2), metal (1), rubber (1), insects (1)]; and five involving a chemical hazard [histamine (4), methanol (1)].”

Natasha’s Law –
Prepacked for Direct Sale (PPDS) food legislation – comes into effect 01 October 2021
(UK, Wales & Northern Ireland)

“Any food business that produces PPDS food will be required to label it with the name of the food and a full ingredients list. Allergenic ingredients must be emphasised within this list.”

“This can include food that consumers select themselves, for example from a display unit, as well as products kept behind a counter, or some food sold at mobile or temporary outlets.”

Above is relevant to UK, Wales & Northern Ireland.

‘Use by’ or ‘best before’? A topic that can cause confusion…

Follow the links on the extract below for guidance and decision trees released by EFSA in December 2020….

“EFSA has developed a tool to help food business operators decide when to apply the ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ date to their products.

“The ‘use by’ date on food is about safety – foods can be eaten until this date but not after, even if they look and smell fine. ‘Best before’ refers to quality – the food will be safe to eat after this date but may not be at its best. For example, its flavour and texture might not be as good.

The European Commission estimates that up to 10% of the 88 million tonnes of food waste generated annually in the EU is linked to date marking on food products.”

New guidance is available to help food suppliers decide what information to give consumers about storing food and time limits for consumption.

Once food packaging has been opened, bacteria can be transferred to food by contaminated hands, surfaces, or equipment. Setting a time limit for consumption is complex, but the tool developed by EFSA’s experts assists food suppliers in deciding whether it is appropriate to give consumers other instructions in addition to the ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ dates.”