Animal health is an important factor in food safety because some diseases, the so-called zoonoses such as brucellosis, salmonellosis and listeriosis, can be transmitted to humans in particular through contaminated food. Community legislation on animal health covers certain zoonotic animal diseases, which can be transferred to humans via foodstuffs (such as brucellosis and tuberculosis within Council Directive 64/432/EEC or Council Directive 91/68/EEC). Specific measures against zoonoses exist in Community legislation relating to Veterinary Public Health. For instance, rules concerning the brucellosis and tuberculosis status of holdings for milk production are laid down in Council Directive 92/46/EEC and measures to inspect meat for the presence of parasites such as Cysticercus and Trichinella are included in the legislation concerning meat hygiene (Regulations (EC) No 853/2004, No 854/2004 and No 2075/2005).
In the White Paper on Food Safety the Commission announced a revision of this Directive on the basis of scientific advice. The Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health published an opinion on food-borne zoonoses on 12 April 2000. Two major proposals to review current legislation were adopted on 29th September 2003. These proposals, designed to cut the incidence of food borne diseases such as salmonella in the European Union, comprise:
- Regulation (EC) 2160/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 on the control of salmonella and other specified food-borne zoonotic agents
- Directive 2003/99/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 on the monitoring of zoonoses and zoonotic agents, amending Council Decision 90/424/EEC and repealing Council Directive 92/117/EEC
In order to prepare implementation of the new zoonoses legislation and/or to implement it, actions and legislation have been initiated.
Implementation of the Directive
Implementation of and amendments to the Regulation
Other legislative and training activities
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council with regard to the state of play on the control of food-borne Salmonella in the EU
E-coli outbreak in Germany
Commission staff working document: Lessons learned from the 2011 outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O104:H4 in sprouted seeds
In close collaboration with the European Reference laboratories, the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the Commission developed a Vision paper on the development of data bases for molecular testing of foodborne pathogens in view of outbreak preparedness.