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Food and Feed Safety (15-09-2006)

Commission conference on future EU training for safety control staff and animal by-products

A European Commission conference on the training of food safety professionals and animal by-products (ABP) will take place at the Bedford Hotel, Rue du Midi, Brussels on 20 September 2006. The conference looks partly at future training activities under the Health and Consumer Protection DG’s Better Training for Safer Food initiative. It also reviews three ABP training workshops for safety controls that have been held in 2006. A press briefing with Bernard Van Goethem, Acting Head of the Directorate of Animal Health and Welfare within the Commission’s Health and Consumer Protection DG will take place at 9:00am.
 
 
Better Training for Safer Food
 
Better Training for Safer Food trains safety controls staff involved in food and feed safety, animal health and welfare and plant health. A Commission Communication setting out the future EU training strategy in these areas is to be adopted on 20 September.
Activities have begun in 2006 with ad-hoc programmes covering: avian influenza (AI); EU import standards for third country products; the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system for identifying hazards and preventing food and feed contamination; animal welfare; animal by-products (ABPs); and veterinary checks at air- and seaport Border Inspection Posts (BIPs).
Training will be organised in a similar way in 2007 with some programmes specifically for EU Member State personnel and others for those from third countries. Participation levels are expected to double from 2006, with courses catering for around 3 000 delegates.
For the EU-based activities, training on HACCP, ABPs, BIPs and animal welfare will again be available. New programmes offered cover monitoring of zoonoses, food contact materials, and plant protection products. For third countries, as in 2006, training on AI and EU import standards is provided. Other courses focus on the application of food testing and the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed.
 
Activity levels should increase further after 2007 and the Communication provides an overview of possible options for organising training in the long term. The Commission will then propose a method offering efficient, cost-effective training.
 
Animal by-products
 
ABPsare materials of animal origin, not intended for human consumption. The EU has adopted legislation for all such products, including those with technical uses or those used to produce feeds, pet food and compost. The regulations also extend to products used for bio-fuels or energy. This legislation sets out rules so that material unfit for human consumption is excluded from the food chain and imposes an identification and traceability system.
Three workshops on ABPs have been held in 2006, in Athens, Milan and Warsaw. They aimed to help personnel working on safety controls understand EU ABP requirements, in order to improve harmonised application and compliance.
The conference will look at aspects dealt with in the workshops including implementation of regulations, particularly concerning the meat, rendering, feed, and tannery sectors, and compliance by third countries with the EU’s ABP import provisions.
 
 
For more information on the Better Training for Safer Food initiative see:
http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/food/training/index_en.htm
 
 
For further information on ABPs see:
http://ec.europa.eu/food/training/standardsbyproducts_en.htm
http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biosafety/animalbyproducts/index_en.htm
http://www.food-control.com/ABP/index_en.html
 
To participate in the press briefing, please contact:
Jennie Davies, Agri-Livestock Consultants, Amsterdam Tel +31 206262824;
jennie@alc-consultants.com
Anne Martin, Project Co-ordinator. Tel +353 1 2814826                                
ALC@food-control.com