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Food Safety Legislation

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Presentation on theme: "Food Safety Legislation"— Presentation transcript:

1 Food Safety Legislation
Stuart A. Slorach Chair, OIE Animal Production Food Safety Working Group Regional Seminar for OIE National Focal Points on Animal Production Food Safety, Abu Dhabi, UAE, January 2014 Comments (with copyright) / Commentaires (soumis au Copyright) :

2 Background Veterinary legislation = laws, regulations and all associated legal instruments that pertain to the veterinary domain. OIE interest in veterinary legislation is not new, but it has increased as result of evaluations of Veterinary Services carried out under the PVS Pathway.

3 Background OIE Support programme for Veterinary Legislation developed
Training of PVS assessors, country visits, capacity building 1st OIE Global Conference on Veterinary Legislation 2010 Veterinary Legislation missions New Chapter 3.4. Veterinary legislation added to the Terrestrial Animal Health Code in 2012 and amended in 2013.

4 Capacity building for Veterinary Services
« Treatment » Capacity Building, Specific Activities, Projects and Programs  PVS Gap Analysis Evaluation PVS Pathway Follow-Up Missions Veterinary Legislation Public / Private Partnerships Education Laboratories « Diagnosis » « Prescription » including Veterinary Services’ Strategic Priorities OIE is developing pilot PVS processes (Evaluation/Gap Analysis/Follow up) to include stronger collaboration with the PH sector There are several core competencies of the Veterinary Services (VS) for which close collaboration with public health (PH) partners in the country is necessary and/or beneficial to the efforts of the VS and their contribution to Veterinary Public Health In particular, a high degree of collaboration and cooperation is needed in some general areas to achieve the maximum benefits for animal and public health, e.g. Food safety Endemic zoonotic diseases Emerging infectious diseases (many are zoonotic) Basic Principles of the One Health PVS Activities Conducted at the request of the country Remains focused on the activities and competencies of the National Veterinary Services National Public Health participation in PVS Mission expected VS would identify the Public Health participants and their participation Process(es) are being piloted The OIE collaborates with governments, donors and other stakeholders

5 Contents of Code Chapter 3.4.
Introduction & objective, definitions, general principles Drafting of veterinary legislation Competent Authorities Veterinarians and veterinary para-professionals Laboratories in the veterinary domain Health provisions relating to animal production Animal diseases, animal welfare Veterinary medicines and biologicals Human food production chain Import & export procedures & veterinary certification

6 Legislation is a key element in achieving good governance
Introduction Good governance is a recognised global public good and is of critical importance to OIE Members. Veterinary legislation should provide, at a minimum, a basis for Competent Authorities to meet their obligations as defined in the Terrestrial Code and the relevant Codex Alimentarius Commission recommendations. Under the SPS Agreement, World Trade Organization (WTO) Members are obliged to notify WTO of changes in their sanitary measures and provide relevant information. Legislation is a key element in achieving good governance

7 Objective The objective of this chapter is to provide advice and assistance to OIE Members when formulating or modernising veterinary legislation so as to comply with OIE standards, thus ensuring good governance of the entire veterinary domain

8 Some definitions Legal instrument = the legally binding rule that is issued by a body with the required legal authority. Hierarchy of legislation = the ranking of the legal instruments as prescribed under the fundamental law of a country. Each legal instrument must comply with higher order legal instruments. Primary legislation = the legal instruments issued by the legislative body of a Member. Secondary legislation = the legal instruments issued by the executive body of a Member under the authority of primary legislation.

9 Hierarchy of normative acts
Conventions Constitution Domain below regulations Regulations Laws Constitution OIE, Codex Food Law Decrees Guidelines, etc

10 Respect for the hierarchy of legislation
General principles (1) Transparency Veterinary legislation should be inventoried and be readily accessible and intelligible for use, updating and modification, as appropriate. Respect for the hierarchy of legislation Veterinary legislation should scrupulously respect the hierarchy between primary legislation and secondary legislation. Legal basis Competent Authorities should have available the primary legislation & secondary legislation necessary to carry out their activities at all administrative and geographic levels. Veterinary legislation should be consistent with national and international law, as appropriate, including civil, penal and administrative laws.

11 General principles (2) Consultation
The drafting of new and revised legislation relevant to the veterinary domain should be a consultative process involving Competent Authorities and legal experts to ensure that the resulting legislation is scientifically, technically and legally sound. To facilitate implementation of the veterinary legislation, Competent Authorities should establish relationships with stakeholders, including taking steps to ensure that they participate in the development of significant legislation and required follow-up.

12 Quality of legislation and legal certainty
General principles (3) Quality of legislation and legal certainty Veterinary legislation should be clear, coherent, stable and transparent and protect citizens against adverse side effects of legal instruments. It should be technically relevant, acceptable to society, able to be effectively implemented and sustainable in technical, financial and administrative terms. A high quality of legislation is essential for achieving legal certainty.

13 Competent authorities (1)
Competent Authorities should be legally mandated, capacitated and organised to ensure that all necessary actions are taken quickly and coherently to address animal health, public health and animal welfare emergencies effectively. Veterinary legislation should provide for a chain of command that is as effective as possible (i.e. short, with all responsibilities clearly defined). For this purpose, the responsibilities and powers of Competent Authorities, from the central level to those responsible for the implementation of legislation in the field, should be clearly defined. Where more than one Competent Authority is involved, such as in relation to environmental, food safety or other public health matters, a reliable system of coordination and cooperation should be in place.

14 Competent authorities (2)
Competent Authorities should appoint technically qualified officials to take any actions needed for implementation or verification of compliance with the veterinary legislation respecting the principles of independence and impartiality. Necessary powers of the Competent Authority, including access to premises and documents, taking samples, seizure of animals and foods of animal origin, suspension of activities or temporary, partial or complete closure of inspected establishments and withdrawal of approvals. Delegation of powers by the Competent Authority: delegation of specific tasks related to official activities.

15 Standards for food safety
The OIE animal production food safety standards are complementary to the Codex standards – which are the food safety references under the SPS Agreement. As the food production chain is a continuum ‘from farm to fork’, WTO Members should take full account of OIE recommendations on animal production food safety in setting measures for safe foods of animal origin. SPS Agreement Animal health & zoonoses: OIE Food safety: Codex Plant health: IPPC International standard setting organisations – the ‘Three Sisters’

16 Human food production chain (1)
Veterinary legislation should provide a basis for actions to safeguard the human food production chain through controls at all critical steps, consistent with national food safety standards. - Role of the Vet. Services in food safety described in Ch.6.1. 1. General provisions: Veterinary legislation should provide a basis for actions to address the following elements: - controls over all stages of the production, processing and distribution of food of animal origin; - recording all significant animal and public health events that occur during primary production; - giving operators of food production premises the primary responsibility for compliance with food safety requirements, including traceability established by the Competent Authority;

17 Human food production chain (2)
- inspection for compliance with food standards, where this is relevant to health or safety; - inspection of premises; - prohibition of the marketing of products not fit for human consumption; and - provisions for recall from the marketplace of all products likely to be hazardous for human or animal health.

18 Human food production chain (3)
2. Products of animal origin intended for human consumption Veterinary legislation should provide a basis for actions to address the following elements: - arrangements for inspection and audit; - the conduct of inspection and audit; - health standards; and - the application of health identification marks that are visible to the intermediary or final user.

19 Human food production chain (4)
- The Competent Authority should have the necessary powers and means to rapidly withdraw any products deemed to be hazardous from the food chain or to prescribe uses or treatments that ensure the safety of such products for human or animal health.

20 Human food production chain (5)
3. Operators responsible for premises and establishments pertaining to the food chain Veterinary legislation should provide a basis for actions to address the following elements as appropriate: - registration of premises and establishments by the Competent Authority; - the use of risk-based management procedures; and - prior authorisation of operations that are likely to constitute a significant risk to human or animal health.

21 Codex & OIE standards: meat hygiene
Code of Hygienic Practice for Meat was adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) in July 2005 and is the primary international standard for meat hygiene. Chapter 6.2 of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code (Control of biological hazards of animal health and public health importance through ante- and post-mortem meat inspection) refers to the Codex Code and describes the role of the Veterinary Services in meat inspection.

22 Codex & OIE standards: poultry
In 2011 the CAC adopted Guidelines for the control of Campylobacter and Salmonella in chicken meat The OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code includes: - Ch.6.4. Biosecurity procedures in poultry production. - Ch.6.5. Prevention, detection and control of Salmonella in poultry Codex guidelines & the OIE chapters contain cross references.

23 Codex & OIE standards: animal feeding
Codex Code of Practice on Good Animal Feeding. OIE has adopted Ch.6.3 of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code: “Control of hazards of animal health and public health importance in animal feed” and Ch. 6.1 of the Aquatic Animal Health Code: “Control of hazards in aquatic animal feeds”. Both chapters refer to Codex Code of Practice. In July 2013 the CAC adopted “Guidelines on the Application of Risk Assessment for Feed”.

24 Codex standards: some other examples
More than 500 Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for veterinary drugs in foods Guidelines for risk analysis of foodborne antimicrobial resistance. (see also OIE Terrestrial Code chapters ) Maximum limits for chemical contaminants in foods General principles of food hygiene Code of Hygienic Practice for milk and milk products Code of Hygienic Practice for fish and fishery products Standards for individual food commodities, e.g. corned beef, various cheeses, honey, fermented milks

25 Further information Further information about OIE and Codex food safety standards, recommendations, etc can be obtained from: OIE website ( Codex website ( or via your national Codex Contact Point (contact details on the Codex website).

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