2 audits by the European Commission’s health and wellness company have actually taken a look at examine food of non-animal origin (FNAO) and bivalve mollusks in Turkey.
A DG Sante audit on FNAO, in September 2022, made 3 suggestions. The focus was microbiological contamination of soft berries like strawberries, leafy crops such as lettuce, and dry tomatoes for export to the European Union.
Food security at main production is attended to through, and depends upon, excellent farming practices evaluation and personal accreditation systems. This does not cover little growers providing export channels outside the primary grocery store chains, and authorities do not validate procedures to avoid microbiological contamination.
Turkish authorities stated to avoid contamination of tomato, strawberry, and lettuce items prior to and throughout harvest, numerous provinces will be informed to perform main controls. Other actions consist of evaluation programs, training, audits, and tasting.
Throughout processing, main controls remain in location. Auditors discovered drawbacks as some prospective threats are not covered. Authorities have actually ruled out the procedure of drying tomatoes in open fields in control strategies, or the danger of Listeria contamination in operators managing items meant to be consumed raw. These compromise the authority’s ability to discover and correct shortages or practices that might present a danger to customers, stated auditors.
Vegetables and fruits are not part of the yearly nationwide tracking program and main tasting for microbiological analysis is just performed upon unique demand or if there are grievances. The strategy likewise does not consist of ecological samples for Listeria in such facilities. This restricts the capability of main tracking to supply important info to food companies and authorities to attend to possible contamination in the production and processing phases, stated auditors.
Following Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) alerts, authorities executed a tracking prepare for Hepatitis A in dried tomatoes exported to the EU however say goodbye to positives have actually because been found.
Issues with mollusk controls
The 2nd audit on bivalve mollusks had a remote part in October 2021 and an onsite component in May 2022. It discovered development had actually been made given that the last see in 2015.
Turkey can not export live bivalve mollusks to the EU however can send out frozen and processed ones. All consignments should be checked at EU border control points for E. coli if frozen and biotoxins for frozen and processed bivalve mollusks.
The audit exposed weak points in biotoxin screening, which can cause an underestimation of the variety of biotoxins in mollusks. An audit report discovered the examination of unacceptable microbiological findings is inadequate, which might cause the misclassification of production locations and insufficient treatment of gathered bivalve mollusks. Insufficient hygienic studies do not guarantee that tasting points for microbiological tracking are agent of production locations.
Management of re-opening production locations worrying fecal contamination requirements is insufficient and may lead to risky items reaching the marketplace, stated auditors.
Following the extension of a restriction on exporting live bivalve mollusks to the EU, Turkish operators attempted to adjust to send out frozen or thermally processed items rather. This caused using websites not gotten ready for managing and processing such items that had considerable structural imperfections.
The audit group likewise kept in mind functional issues such as bad set-up and execution of food security requirements, lack of cold chain management throughout processing, and a high threat of cross-contamination of the end product. Some operators had not used or verified thermal procedures to eliminate bacteria. While business had food security management systems, they didn’t cover all dangers and dangers.
Auditors stated there are significant imperfections in factories which raises food security issues about items exported from them.
“The truth that the methodical authorities evaluations of processing facilities did not find any of the considerable issues found throughout this audit casts doubt on the capability of the authorities to implement EU requirements. The lack of any treatments to confirm the efficiency of main controls raises additional issues over the capability of the authorities to acknowledge the weak points of their activities and their capability to enhance them.”
In the previous couple of years, there were 3 notices in the RASFF system for bivalve items from Turkey, one associated to high levels of E. coli in frozen bivalve mollusks; another for lipophilic contaminants and one due to Salmonella in a frozen pasteurized item. In all cases, the examination by regional authorities did not find any shortage in associated facilities. The audit group kept in mind a number of problems in one of the websites connected to the Salmonella RASFF case.
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