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Food safety: The Authority adopts control plan for horsemeat



Today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority adopted a control plan for horsemeat in Norway and Iceland. The plan was presented in a meeting in Brussels Thursday morning.

At the meeting of the EFTA Veterinary and Phytosanitary Committee, Norway and Iceland presented the actions already taken to assess the situation in the two States. Following the discussion, the Authority presented a coordinated control plan to provide for a harmonised approach of the sampling, analysis and reporting.

The Committee expressed no objections and the Authority consequently adopted a Recommendation outlining the coordinated plan.

The plan will last for one month and will then be subject to evaluation for possibly extending it 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.

The Recommendation can be found here

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

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