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Food Safety

Health - Scientific Committees - Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health - Outcome of discussions

Summary Report of the Meeting of the Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health held on 22 December 1997 in Brussels

List of Participants

MEMBERS

Prof. A. Osterhaus (chairperson)

Prof. R. Gilbert (first vice-chairperson)

Prof. J-L. Jouve (second vice-chairperson)

Prof. J. Fink-Gremmels, Prof. A. Mantis, Prof. E. Nurmi, Dr. J. Schlundt, Dr. I. Vagsholm, Dr. D. Vuitton, Prof. P. Willeberg

APOLOGIES

Dr. A. Johnston, Prof. A. Macri, Prof. E. Quinto Fernandez, Prof. F. Van Knapen

ABSENT

Prof. V. Caporale, Prof. O. Kaaden

COMMISSION

Mr. R. Vanhoorde, Mr. B. Verleysen, Mr. P. Peeters DG V, Mr. H. Winter DG VI

1. Declarations of interest

With reference to point 6d of the agenda Prof. Willeberg explained a possible interest. However, the Committee accepted his ability to act independently on this issue.

2. Adoption of the Agenda

The agenda was adopted with the inclusion of an additional point 9.

3. Adoption of the minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes were adopted.

4. Discussion and possible adoption of Internal Rules of Procedure

As the Internal Rules of Procedure were not yet discussed in the Scientific Steering Committee, it was decided to postpone this point until the next plenary.

5. Work programme and planning of future meetings

The following provisional calendar was decided for the plenary sessions:

17 February 1998;

23 March 1998;

27 April 1998;

25 May 1998;

22 June 1998;

20 July 1998;

28 September 1998;

30 October 1998;

30 November 1998;

21 December 1998.

6. Outstanding questions to the Committee

6 (a) Request for a scientific review concerning the use of antimicrobial treatments of poultry carcasses, the various methods of carcass rinsing including trisodium monophosphates (TSP), organic acids and hyperchlorinated water

The issue was addressed in the light of a discussion paper. The Committee considered that treatment of carcasses should be based on risk assessment and that it should only be considered as an additional tool under the proviso of strict implementation of HACCP and GMP (good manufacturing practices). Considering the overlapping with point 6 (b), it was decided to combine both questions and to assess them together. As a first step, the participation of an expert from the US (FSIS) to clarify the US approach was considered appropriate.

It was decided to identify the various scientific aspects in a working group meeting scheduled for 29 January 1998. The working group includes Prof. J-L. Jouve (chairman), Prof. A. Mantis, Dr. J. Schlundt from the Committee and Prof. Geoffrey Mead (UK), Prof. H. Kruse (NO) and Dr. H. P. Riemann (USA). The composition of the working group will subsequently be amended in the light of the scientific questions which need to be addressed.

The deadline for the delivery of a draft report to the plenary is scheduled for the meeting of 27 April.

6 (b) Request for a scientific opinion concerning the 9th code of Federal Regulations Part 304, et al. Pathogen reduction; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems; Final rule

Cfr. point 6(a).

6 (c) Request for a scientific opinion on the evaluation of microbiological criteria and temperatures for storage and transport of products of animal origin intended for human consumption:
- partim microbiological criteria;
- partim temperatures for storage and transport.

From the Commission side an overview was given about the new legal standard for the development of the relevant Community policy (Article 100A and 129 instead of the former Article 43 of the Treaty). It was explained that the new criteria need to be backed by science and be based on risk assessment (SPS). Pending such criteria the existing ones will remain in force.

A working group was set up. It includes Prof. R. Gilbert (chairman) and Prof. J-L. Jouve of the Committee and Prof. Teuffel (D), Prof. M. Van Schothorst (NL) and Prof. S. Lindgren (Scientific Committee for Food).

The deadline for the delivery of a short draft report to the plenary is scheduled for the meeting of July or September 1998.

6 (d) Request for a scientific opinion concerning the revision of ante- and post- mortem inspection procedures for an alternative inspection system for the slaughter of pigs

In the light of the existing progress report it was decided to restrict the exercise at present to pigs. Other animal species could be considered once the general aspects are agreed upon. The composition of the existing ad hoc working group addressing this issue was reviewed. The new group includes Prof. A. Johnston (chairman) and Prof. Willeberg of the Committee and Prof. R. Fries (D), Prof. P. Marcato (I), Prof. Snijders or Elbers (cf. Prof. Van Knapen) and Prof. P. Karaioannoglou (GR). Working group meetings will be organised a.s.a.p.

6 (e) Request for a scientific opinion concerning cooling of carcasses during transport

Considering the state of progress, the Committee decided to have a last meeting with the existing working group with the aim of finalising a draft opinion for the plenary. Members of the working group are:

Prof. A. Osterhaus (chairman) of the Committee and Prof. C. Ring (D), Dr. P. Mullen (UK) and Mr. J. Holzer (D).

6 (f) Request for a scientific opinion concerning the equivalence of two protocols for the detection of trichinella larvae in horse meat and in pork with the methods approved in accordance with Council Directive 77/96/EEC

6 (g) Request for a scientific opinion concerning the modification of the methods approved in accordance with Council Directive 77/96/EEC for the detection of trichinella larvae in horse meat

The Committee appointed Prof. F. Van Knapen as chairman of the ad hoc working group and invited him to establish a well balanced group to address points 6 (f) and 6 (g). Expertise from Maison Alfort and BGVV was suggested. Working group meetings will be organised a.s.a.p.

6 (h) Request for a scientific opinion concerning the prevalence and methods of control of cysticercosis

The Committee considered that this outstanding question is too vague and that it needs to be clarified. Prof. Van Knapen and Dr. Vuitton are invited to specify the question in the light of the discussion in the former working group. Once reformulated, the question will be returned to the Commission for approval.

6 (i) Request for a scientific opinion concerning allergic reactions to ingested anisakis simplex antigens and evaluation of the possible risk to human health

The Committee asked Dr. Vuitton to act as rapporteur and to prepare a draft report based on an evaluation of existing relevant scientific literature.

6 (j) Antibiotic resistance

The Committee recognised that the Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition (SCAN) addresses the issue of feed additives. It was considered that this issue needs both an input from veterinary and from human medicine and that a series of scientific reports from international bodies are currently in the pipeline.

In the light of the above, it was concluded not to address this question immediately in the SCVPH. However the chairman was asked to highlight the multi-diciplinary aspect of the problem in the SSC and to include an expert of the SCVPH in the SCAN working groups discussing this question.

7. Setting up of a joint working group (i.e. including experts of other scientific committees) to address the use of Bovine Somatotropin

The Committee established a working group to examine this question. The working group will include Prof. Fink-Gremmels, Prof. Macri and Prof. Willeberg from the Committee, an expert from the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare (SCAHAW) and from the Scientific Committee on Food, Dr. N. Ageraard from the Scientific Committee on Animal Nutrition as well as two external experts. With this aim the secretariat was asked to explore the availability of Prof. F. André (F) and Prof. C. Van Peteghem (B).

It was agreed that the part referring to specific welfare and animal health aspects will be prepared in a working group of the SCAHAW (in which Prof. Willeberg would participate) and that it will subsequently be included in the general report.

The deadline for the submission of the draft report is July 1997.

8. Appointment of an expert of the Committee to participate in the working group set up by the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare to examine the possible link between Johne’s disease and Crohn’s disease

It was decided that Dr. Vuitton would participate.

9. Safety of slaughter practices and methods; risk to spread BSE infectivity through cross contamination of different tissues by using (pneumatic) stunners during the slaughtering process of cattle

The chairman informed the Committee about the outcome of the discussion in the SSC. Dr. Johnston and Prof. Mantis were asked to present a draft report within 2-3 months.

10. Miscellaneous

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