UK to come into line with EU on trichinella

New pig testing requirements, to bring the UK in line with EU trichinella regulations, are due to be enforced by the end of October, said Bpex.

EU law now demands that all pigs from non-controlled housing must be tested before they can go into the human food chain, and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it expected the UK industry to be compliant with the new regulations by the end of October 2014.

Examples of pigs from non-controlled housing are free-range and organic animals, and the FSA estimates 3% of total pigs sent to slaughter will be in this category. Bpex added that guidance is being developed to determine how to classify production systems in line with EU rules, to be made available in the New Year. In the meantime, producers must come to their own decision on the issue.

The FSA said businesses were able to choose between having the tests carried out by FSA-contracted suppliers or setting themselves up as a self-tester.

Bpex explained: “Existing evidence indicates there is a very low risk to public health in the UK from trichinella. The last case from meat produced in Great Britain was in 1977. The most recent human cases were a cluster of eight in north London in 2000, which was traced to the personal import of pork salami from Serbia”.

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