Written Answers. - Border Inspection Posts.

Question:

107 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the number of samples taken from foods at each Border Inspection Post from 1995 and to date in 2000; the number and type of tests carried out on each food sample; the number of batches of foods rejected; the action taken against the country of import when a consignment is rejected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29897/00]

The details requested prior to 1997 are not readily available. Set out in the following table is a summary of the details in respect of the Border inspection posts, from 1997 onwards. Details in respect of each post will be sent to the Deputy as soon as possible.

Year

No. of SamplesTaken

No. of ConsignmentsRejected

1997

39

1

1998

35

1

1999

77

3

2000

27

7

The type of tests carried out were microbiological and residue testing.
The reasons for rejection vary from temperature disruption, damage to packaging and-or the absence of appropriate health certificate. Under the provisions of Council Directive 97/78/EC the consignor is advised to take return of the goods or if regarded unfit for human consumption the goods are destroyed. In addition increased sampling of future consignments may take place in respect of similar goods being imported from the same source. Also the EU Commission is notified of these rejections and the commission may impose a suspension of imports or special conditions or special checks should the circumstances warrant it.