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Internal Market

Food safety: Meeting with Norway and Iceland to discuss the horsemeat scandal



The EFTA Surveillance Authority has decided to convene a meeting of the EFTA Veterinary and Phytosanitary Committee on 21 February to discuss the horsemeat scandal.

At this meeting, the Authority will discuss steps already taken to assess the situation in Norway and Iceland and propose a coordinated control plan to examine possible fraudulent practices.

This plan will last for one month and may be extended for another two months. It foresees two actions:

  • Investigation of the presence of unlabeled horse meat in foods: The plan foresees controls, mainly at retail level, of foods destined for the final consumer and marketed as containing beef to detect the presence of unlabeled horse meat.
  • Detection of possible residues of phenylbutazone in horsemeat destined for human consumption: the plan foresees testing of 1 sample for every 50 tons of horsemeat.

The plan also provides for regular reporting of the results of the controls in Norway and Iceland to the Authority, including information on sampling, type of analysis and follow-up controls. For positive findings related to horsemeat, the country where the animals concerned were certified for slaughter will also be reported.

All the information will be communicated to the European Commission and will be included in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) so that authorities in all EEA countries can immediately use them.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg 
Press & Information Officer 
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187


Other EEA Institutions

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