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Food safety: Control system for growing of vegetables insufficient in Iceland

6.6.2014

PR(14)34

The control system for growing and harvesting of food of plant origin in Iceland is currently at a preliminary stage, and has mainly been focused on after-harvesting activities.

This is the main conclusion in a report published by the EFTA Surveillance Authority today, following an inspection carried out in Iceland in March 2014.

The controls carried out on the after-harvesting activities of the production, that is packing of vegetables at farm level, is in general in line with the relevant EEA requirements. However, it appears that controls in this area have not been prioritized by the competent authorities in Iceland and only to a limited extent cover the phase of growing and harvesting the vegetables.

  • Matvælastofnun (the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority – MAST) is responsible for official controls of growing and harvesting of vegetables and the Heilbrigðiseftirlit sveitarfélaga (Local Competent Authorities – LCAs) are responsible for official controls of packing (including packing at farm level) and distribution;
  • The official controls carried out by MAST on growing and harvesting are limited;
  • Efficient and effective coordination between MAST and the LCAs could not always be ensured;
  • Not all analytical methods in use by the official laboratory were accredited;
  • Iceland has not designated a National Reference Laboratory for all of the relevant bacteriological and chemical parameters.

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

The Icelandic competent authorities have taken note of the shortcomings identified and have provided an action plan that addresses the Authority's recommendations, which is annexed to the final report. This action plan is currently being reviewed by the Authority.

Read the full report here

 

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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