Irish feed sector: no risk from labelling and HACCP legislative breaches

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The number of feed sector labelling and HACCP violations reported by the Irish authorities show how effective feed controls are in Ireland, claims the Irish Grain and Feed Association (IGFA). 

Data published by the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in its annual report showed that a total of 1,154 inspections were carried out on 773 Irish animal feed manufacturers in 2015, and as part of this surveillance program, 955 legal notices were issued to feed business operators for transgressions of feed hygiene and feed marketing legislation.

No safety concerns

Deirdre Webb, director of IGFA, told us: “The infringements, as the report said, are not deemed serious from a feed or food safety perspective. The number [of breaches recorded] reflects the robust levels of inspections and enforcements in Ireland. So the farmer can [continue to] have confidence both in Irish feed and its control authorities.

“Nevertheless, we have planned further hazard and critical control points (HACCP) along with non-conformance training in conjunction with DAFM this autumn.”

The Department said infringements associated with HACCP procedures accounted for the majority of the legal notices, totaling 70%, while labelling non-compliance represented 10% of citations.

Its review noted over 90 cases in 2015 of Irish feed firms mislabeling products.

Infractions linked to hygiene accounted for 6% and traceability for another 6% of the total. The remaining 8% related to various other aspects of feed production, said DAFM.

The Department noted that a total of 1,390 samples of animal feed were taken from feed business operators and sent for various analyses in 2015; there were 475 cases where the analytical results were found to be outside the tolerance levels, but these did not raise safety concerns.

All infringements were recorded, followed up and resolved, added the Irish authorities.

“Overall, the [Irish] feed industry is very aware of its obligations in relation to feed and food safety legislative requirements and has invested heavily in systems to ensure that standards are met,” concluded DAFM’s report.

EU labelling code of practice

Webb pointed out that the European feed sector has been waiting for a legislative framework on product labelling for some eight years.

New labelling rules for marketing compound feed for livestock finally saw the light of day in late July this year – the first to be officially endorsed by the European Commission.

The code of practice was jointly developed by EU feed manufacturers’ body, FEFAC, and farm lobby Copa-Cogeca, to clarify the requirements for feed labelling for operators and customers set out in Regulation (EC) No 767/2009.

The Code, they said, aims to provide practical advice to compound feed manufacturers on how to draw up a label so livestock farmers can correctly use the product and make informed choices. 

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