Thursday, 7 February 2019

Questions (206)

Charlie McConalogue


206. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the measures being taken following confirmation that unsafe meat has been exported to 12 EU countries (details supplied). [6231/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), managed by the EU Commission, is the key EU tool used to ensure a swift reaction when risks to public health are detected in the food chain. RASFF enables information to be shared efficiently and swiftly between its members - EU Commission, European Food Safety Authority, national food safety authorities for the EU-28 and EFTA countries - with the objective of ensuring the highest possible level of consumer protection. In Ireland’s case, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland is the responsible authority.

RASFF members must immediately notify the Commission via when they have information regarding a serious health risk deriving from food or feed. Once a notification of the existence of a serious, direct or indirect, risk to public health linked to food or feed is made by a member, this information reaches the Commission, which in turn verifies the notification and immediately transmits it to the other members of the network. This rapid exchange of information allows all members to check in real time whether they are also affected and if urgent action is needed.

Poland submitted a notification on the RASFF system on 29 January, in relation to veterinary controls not properly carried out on bovine meat at slaughter premises in Poland, potentially creating a food safety risk. The RASSF notification listed 11 member states which were affected, and advised that implicated product should be withdrawn from the market. Ireland was not one of the affected member states.