Residue guide published

Related tags Pharmacology

The Chilled Food Association (CFA) has launched a guide to help
chilled food manufacturers meet their legislative commitments and
commercial requirements regarding controls on veterinary residues,
just days after the Soil Association challenged residue
contamination in eggs.

The guide, entitled Veterinary Residues Management Guidance, will assist UK chilled food manufacturers by providing an overview of the issues and the legislation as well as clear explanations on how veterinary residues arise. The CFA says that the various responsibilities throughout the food chain are explained and best practice in control measures are outlined.

Information to assist auditing feed mills, farms and slaughterhouses is also provided as well as sources of update information. The emphasis is on residues from veterinary medicines but other pharmacologically active substances as well as possible environmental contaminants are also covered.

There are also chapters on surveillance, sources of residues and routes of administration, supply chain responsibilities and incident management. The guide also provides tables that describe and classify the various veterinary medicines and their usage, legal status and administration routes.

The publication of the guide is timely. The safety of chicken eggs in the UK was challenged last week by the Soil Association, which claimed that as many as one in eight eggs may contain residues of a veterinary drug that is potentially harmful to humans.

The drug in question, lasalocid, is permitted in poultry raised for meat. But the Soil Association claims that tests on eggs by the UK government's veterinary medicines directorate show residues were found in 12 per cent of egg samples last year, up from 1 per cent in 1999. This means that consumers may be eating up to three million eggs a day containing residues.

Similar drugs have been reported to cause severe illness and death in livestock such as cattle, turkeys and sheep. The Soil Association says that although there is no direct evidence of potential poisonous effects on humans from lasalocid, checks have never been made.

"Publication of this new CFA Guidance is very timely bearing in mind recently publicised incidents involving unauthorised or banned veterinary residues,"​ said Kaarin Goodburn, CFA's secretary general.

"We anticipate that this Guidance will prove to be aninvaluable reference tool for all involved in the chilled food chain, particularly as the European Commission is currently reviewing legislation in this area."

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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