The Commission of the European Union (EU) has agreed on a number of additional measures to address food contamination and food fraud in the aftermath of one of the biggest food scandals in recent memory.
Millions of eggs were recalled earlier this year in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and other EU Member States after they were found to be contaminated with fipronil, a highly-toxic insecticide. The contaminant was found to be an unidentified ingredient in some varieties of DEGA-16, a sanitising agent widely used to clean coops and stables on chicken farms.
The action by the Commission included 19 specific measures that it says will increase communication between food safety authorities in Member States to facilitate the identification of food safety issues and potentially fraudulent food products. The measures include:
- Developing a management plan for food and feed incidents, similar to a crisis management plan;
- Improvements in risk communications between EU Member States and the Commission;
- Strengthening of monitoring of residues in food products to more quickly identify possible illegal substances or misuse of substances; and
- Creating a harmonised, EU-wide risk management approach to address incidents involving widespread contamination or chemical risk.
The complete text of the Commission’s press release on its proposed measures can be viewed here.