Regulator launches search for meat products sourced from Euro Freeze

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food safety Food standards agency

Processors who received meat and poultry from Euro Freeze in
Northern Ireland are currently checking the status of their
products after the company was closed down by the UK's food safety

The FDA requirement that all the products that used ingredients originating from the coldstore be tracked down emphasises the increasing role of regulations on the traceability of foods throughoutthe supply and distribution chains.

The Food Standards Agency said on Friday its investigations relate to a large quantity of foodstuffs found in the company's coldstore at Lisnaskea. The FSA is focusing its enquiry n repackaging andre-labelling activity on the premises. An initial examination of the evidence has led it to the immediate suspension of the coldstore's licence to do business.

"Emerging evidence suggests the use of illicit health marks,"​ the FSA alleged in a press release. "Apparently legitimate products correctly health marked were also found onthe premises."

The FSA stated that no specific food safety issues have been identified in relation to any particular products that may have used . The agency will continue examining the evidence as theinvestigation continues and will issue updates.

The investigation follows a visit to Euro Freeze's premises last week by officials from the department of agriculture and rural development (DARD), accompanied by the police armed with a searchwarrant. The raid led to the contents of the coldstore being detained and any further distribution of meat stopped.

The FSA has identified a number of UK companies that have received product from the Eurofreeze operation. The regulator called on local authorities to contact the companies and request that theydetain any product from the company.

If companies have already sold on products from Eurofreeze, they will be asked to provide details of their customers so that the local authority can contact them.

"If any of the meat is reported to be on the premises the company should quarantine the meat to allow for a full inspection by enforcement officers,"​ the FSA stated. "Inspectors should detain the meat, if necessary using the Food Safety Act 1990 powers of detention, pending further information being provided by the agency to help assist in establishing the authenticity of theapplied health marks."

On 1 January this year EU laws on traceability that entered into force on 1 January 2005. The laws harmonises the bloc's requirements on the traceability of food products, the withdrawal ofdangerous products from the market, operator responsibilities and requirements applicable to imports and exports.

The new mandatory traceability requirement applies to all food, animal feed, food-producing animals and all types of food chain operators from the farming sector to processing, transport, storage,distribution and retail to the consumer.

All information on the name, address of producer, nature of products and date of transaction must be systematically registered within each operator's traceability system. The law requires theinformation to be kept for a period of five years and on request, it must immediately be made available to regulators.

Related topics Regulation

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