Audit in Denmark on food safety and process hygiene criteria

By 2. December 2011Blog, Quality

The report describes the outcome of a Food and Veterinary office (FVO) audit in Denmark which took place from 8 to 18 March 2011. The objective of the audit was to evaluate the official controls on food safety and process hygiene criteria.

The Danish authorities have established national legislation and several guidelines and
instructions which cover the main aspects of the scope of the audit. The national rules on carcass sampling avail of Article 5.5 of Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 and allow FBOs to use other sampling and testing procedures and testing against alternative micro-organisms. However, national rules on carcass sampling frequencies in small capacity slaughterhouses are not in line with all requirements and some of the guidelines have not been updated.

The Competent Authorities (CAs) and the official laboratories were well organised and with clearly defined responsibilities. The laboratory network and National Reference Laboratory (NRL) function in a satisfactory way, except for the aspect that some methods have not yet been accredited.

Eight of the ten FBOs visited had proof that the methods used for the microbiological own controls had been accredited and validated accordingly.

The CAs have established a comprehensive, risk-oriented official sampling and microbiological testing programme for different types of foodstuffs. Sampling and testing of both fresh meat originating from abroad and of domestic origin (case-by-case studies) was not in line with Article 3.6 of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 and was used as a justification to carry out discriminate sampling of poultry meat received from third countries and other Member States.

The system of official controls is well established and takes into account the requirements given in Article 3.1 of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004. However, some shortcomings were noted, mainly in relation to the poorly implemented approval procedure for one of the establishments visited, lack of documented procedure for the controls in relation to Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 and audits on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programmes.

The original article can be found here.