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Iceland Told to Improve Meat and Milk Controls

17 September 2012

ICELAND - Iceland needs to improve some shortcomings in the official controls of meat and milk production to make sure that they are in line with EEA food safety legislation.

This is the main conclusion of a report published by the EFTA Surveillance Authority.

The Authority carried out the first mission to Iceland in May 2012 on safety of food of animal origin, in particular meat, milk and their products.

The EEA legislation entered into force in Iceland 1 November 2011 following a 18 months transitional period.

Iceland has a control system in place for production of meat, milk and their products, as laid down in EEA legislation, but the Authority mission identified certain shortcomings at food business operator level as well as in the official controls carried out.

Regarding the official controls, the main shortcomings detected were weak enforcement procedures in case of infringements. For example, no intermediate measures had been taken to prevent two meat establishments to place meat products on the Icelandic market even though their facilities were not appropriate and they were not approved as compliant with EEA legislation. In addition, the approvals seen in other establishments did not always cover all facilities and/or activities.

At the food business operators level, shortcomings were identified in general and specific hygiene requirements. Several of these non-compliances had not been detected by the competent authorities, and included:

  • structural deficiencies, lack of maintenance and insufficient cleaning procedures
  • lack of the required microbiological controls of meat and milk products;
  • lack of identification marking, in particular of meat products, and
  • incomplete own-check procedures in the food establishments.

The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) has taken note of the shortcomings identified, and has provided an action plan with deadlines in which the Authority's recommendations are partly addressed. The action plan is included as Annex 3 to the final report.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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