Production of Milk-Products Can Resume If Safe

EU - The European Commission is closely monitoring the situation as regards altered mozzarella cheese, and production of milk products at the affected establishment in Germany can resume only when it is verified that these products will be safe for consumption.
calendar icon 5 July 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

This is the two-fold message that emerged from last week's meeting of EU experts (Member States and Commission) at the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH). The German food safety authorities informed the other Member States and the Commission in detail about the controls carried out by its competent authorities and the corrective measures taken by the establishment. The Committee also discussed protection of laying hens, Aujeszky's disease in pigs and Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheatis (IBR).

The Commission presented to the Standing Committee the main findings of the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) onsite mission performed between June 23 and 25. It identified, among other things, the failure of the company to inform the competent authorities when the contamination was detected. The Commission stated that only when the competent authorities provide full guarantees that the source of contamination has been eliminated and the bacteriological quality of the products has been restored, production of milk products (like mozzarella) can resume.

The altered mozzarella cheese from the affected establishment had a blue colour to it. It was first spotted in Italy, which notified all the Member States and the Commission on June 9 through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). The altered cheese had also reached other Member States and third countries, where the product was withdrawn from the market.

Another issue discussed by the Committee included Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheatis (IBR) and related trade conditions: the SCoFCAH endorsed a Commission proposal on IBR which affects cattle to ease their movement within the EU without compromising the health status of areas free from the disease. New conditions have been introduced allowing direct movements of fattening animals destined for slaughter into enclosed stables. This will be done through a channelling and traceability system supervised by the Member States' competent authorities.

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