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Food Safety: Unsatisfactory official controls on live bivalve molluscs in Norway




Norway does not fully comply with the legal requirements for harvesting and placing on the market of live bivalve molluscs. The situation has not improved much since the previous inspection done by the EFTA Surveillance Authority six years ago.

This is the main conclusion in a report published by the the Authority today, following an audit carried out in Norway in April 2015.

Norway has designated the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) as the competent authority responsible for official controls. Responsibility for coordination of controls regarding live bivalve molluscs has been delegated to one region of the NFSA.

Official controls done by the NFSA departments are not fully coordinated and at central level there is limited overview of control activities in the departments. The effectiveness and appropriateness of official controls and the consistency and quality of official controls on live bivalve molluscs at all levels are not ensured according to the report.

Harvesting areas in Norway have in general not been classified in accordance with EEA legal requirements and sanitary surveys are not done according to requirements if done at all. A national monitoring programme is in place but it is not always ensured that appropriate decisions are made according to the results of the monitoring.

The report includes a number of recommendations addressed to Norway aimed at rectifying shortcomings and enhancing the control system in place. 

The NFSA has taken note of the shortcomings identified and has provided an action plan that addresses the Authority's recommendations. The action plan is annexed to the final report and is currently being reviewed by the Authority.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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