Brussels, 28 May 2008
Treatment of poultry carcasses
The Commission's proposal to implement a possibility opened in the current EU legislation (Regulation 853/2004), and provides for the conditions of use of these substances. All these substances have undergone a scientific evaluation by EFSA on their possible direct effects on consumers and all have received a favourable opinion in this regard.
An other important condition imposed on the operators is the rinsing of the poultry carcass with potable water after treatment. This rinsing has to take place before the carcasses enter the chilling or refrigerating rooms in order to have better results the effort to remove any possible residues of these substances on the carcasses.
Businesses using the antimicrobial substances would have to collect data, for research and monitoring purposes, and make these data available to the competent authorities. The research to be carried out will concern the following issues:
The Commission's proposal also provides that those operators using the four substances would have to comply with certain waste water effluent quality standards. The solutions containing the substances should be discharged to an urban collection and treatment system or to industrial waste water following treatment.
Furthermore, where these substances are used, the competent authorities shall increase the frequency of official controls. The duration of these controls might also be increased. The competent authorities will have the right, on a case-by-case basis, to set additional conditions for the use of these substances.
SCoFCAH will vote on the proposal in one of its next meetings.
Technical change on the definitions and marketing standards for poultry meat
As a result of the proposal, a technical change must also be made to the rules on the definitions and marketing standards for poultry meat. This separate proposal, to amend an existing Regulation, will be sent to the Council and European Parliament. Under current arrangements, it would need an opinion from the Parliament and a qualified majority in Council. If it is not adopted until after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it would be an issue for co-decision between the Council and Parliament.
At the same time, the Commission proposes to make a number of adjustments to bring the legislation up to date in the light of technical changes that have occurred since it was first adopted. These are not related to the issue of antimicrobial treatments.