Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ceisteanna (497)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

497. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if beef imported from Poland in 2018 originated from the plant which is the subject of an investigation for illegally slaughtering sick cattle and allowing the meat to enter the food chain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5298/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), managed by the EU Commission, is the key EU level tool used to ensure the flow of information to enabling 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 the system 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 of the RASFF network, this information reaches the European Commission (as manager of the system), which in turn verifies the notification and immediately transmits it to the other members of the network. This rapid exchange of information allows all RASFF 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 2019, 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 The RASSF notification listed 11 member states which were affected, and advised that implicated product should be withdrawn from the market.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.