FSS works with the Scottish Government and other UK departments to ensure Scottish interests are represented in EU and international Codex discussions on food and feed law and standards. New legislation and technical amendments can progress quickly, and it is important that stakeholders in Scotland are kept informed on the latest changes and have an opportunity to input their views.
This section details proposed changes to EU food and feed law, international standards, and associated domestic policy and legislation where early input from stakeholders in Scotland is necessary.
On 11 February 2019, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the European Commission's proposal to amend the General Food Law Regulation. The proposal follows up on the European Citizens' Initiative and aims at increasing the transparency of the EU risk assessment in the food chain.
The Codex Committee on Food Hygiene has published the following documents for discussion at the 51st Codex Committee on Food Hygiene in November. This includes:
- Proposed draft revision of the General Principles of Food Hygiene (CXC 1-1969) and its HACCP Annex,
- Proposed draft guidance for the management of biological foodborne outbreak,
- Proposed draft guidelines for the control of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Beef Meat, Leafy Greens, Raw Milk and Cheese Produced from Raw Milk, and Sprouts,
- Draft Code of practice on food allergen management for food business operators, and
- Discussion paper on principles for the safe use of water in food processing.
The deadline for submitting responses for this was Thursday 3rd October 2019.
On 24 April 2019, the Commission adopted a new Regulation to set a maximum limit on the use of industrially produced trans-fat in foods in the EU. The measure aims to protect consumers' health providing Europeans with healthier food options.
Find out more
Regulation 853/2004 establishes hygiene rules on food. It is proposed to introduce a new Section in Annex III on insects, as these are increasingly consumed and exported to the EU. Despite the fact that dead insects, parts of them and processed insects are subject to authorisation under Novel Food Regulation (EU) 2015/2283, there is a need for minimum hygiene requirements for those insects and for live ones, similar to those already laid down for use in feed.
Read more about the EU consultation which took place earlier in 2019.
The European Parliament and the Council adopted the new Official Controls Regulation No 2017/625 (OCR) on 15 March 2017. The Regulation was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 7 April 2017 and came into force on 27 April 2017.
The new rules replaced Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls and other legislation governing the control and enforcement of rules along the agri-food chain.
The majority of the new rules contained within the Official Control Regulation 2017/625 became applicable on 14 December 2019. View details of different application dates.
Read more about the OCR.
Information on the meat official controls measures available to competent authorities in Great Britain in relation to slaughterhouses to help maintain the food supply chain while ensuring that consumer safety and animal welfare protections are maintained.
Retained Regulation (EU) 2020/466 relating to Great Britain (as amended by The Official Controls (Animals, Feed and Food, Plant Health etc.) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 and The Official Controls (Temporary Measures) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021) provides competent authorities with the ability to introduce measures within strict legal parameters to address serious disruptions to official control systems arising from the Covid pandemic.
Article 2 of the retained regulation requires measures taken by competent authorities in Great Britain to be published online. The measures relating to meat official controls are listed below.
Under a tiered contingency approach established early in the pandemic, these measures are available for use by competent authorities only when other options made pursuant to retained Regulation (EU) 2017/625 on Official Controls (as amended) have been exhausted.
Official Veterinarian-led official controls delivered in approved meat establishments: Measures available to competent authorities in Great Britain Under Article 3 of retained Regulation (EU) 2020/466 (as amended)
- The relevant competent authority may permit trainee Official Auxiliaries (OAs) to undertake certain low risk inspection tasks under the supervision of an Official Veterinarian (OV) or OA.
- The relevant competent authority may permit ante-mortem inspection to be carried out by an OA who is a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS).
- The relevant competent authority may permit delayed post-mortem inspection (cold inspection) of animals at low capacity establishments to be carried out by an OA.
- The relevant competent authority may appoint former OAs and OVs now working as food business operator staff, to carry out limited activities to support post-mortem inspection under supervision of OVs at specific red meat plants.
Note: Under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol, certain EU law, including Regulation (EU) 2020/466 (as amended) applies directly in Northern Ireland. Under EU law, the above measures are similarly available to the competent authority for use where necessary in Northern Ireland. At present, these measures are available to the competent authority in Northern Ireland as part of the same tiered approach.
On 23 May 2019, The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) launched a public consultation on their draft scientific opinion on the risks for animal and human health related to the presence of quinolizidine alkaloids in food and feed, in particular in lupin and lupin derived products. This document presents estimations of human and animal dietary exposure and an assessment of human and animal health risks related to dietary exposure to quinolizidine alkaloids. This closed on 5 July 2019 and the outcome of the consultation can be found here.
On 6 August 2019, The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) launched a public consultation on the presence of chlorinated paraffins in food and feed. EFSA is seeking feedback from interested parties on its scientific opinion about the risks to human and animal health relating to the presence of chlorinated paraffins in food and feed. Chlorinated paraffins have been produced since the 1930s for a variety of purposes and are used as additives in lubricants, flame retardants in the rubber industry and in plastics and sealants among other uses. Chlorinated paraffins may be released into the environment through product use or improper disposal and therefore may also contaminate food and feed. The consultation closed on Tuesday 17 September 2019.
On 4 October 2019, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) launched a public consultation on their draft scientific opinion on the risks to public health related to the presence of aflatoxins in food. The consultation closed on Friday 15 November 2019.
On 4 December 2019, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) launched a public consultation on their draft scientific opinion on the risks to public health related to the presence of ochratoxins in food. The consultation closed on Friday 24 January 2020.
The Commission and EU countries discuss animal nutrition issues in the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed - Animal Nutrition. The Food Standards Agency represents the UK at these meetings and publish updates following attendance.
Read the Committee agenda and report
The Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/1869 amending and correcting Annex I to Directive 2002/32/EC as regards maximum levels for certain undesirables in animal feed was published recently and came into force on the 27 November 2019. Directive 2002/32/EC provides that the use of products intended for animal feed which contain levels of undesirable substances, exceeding the maximum levels laid down in Annex I are prohibited. The amendments within Regulation 2019/1869 include changes to the maximum levels for; arsenic, fluorine, mercury, lead and dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs for specific feed materials and feed additives.
On the 4 March the Commission published Regulation (EU) 2020/354 establishing a list of intended uses of feed intended for particular nutritional purposes, repealing Directive 2008/38/EC. Regulation 2020/354 revises and updates; Part A on general conditions for the feed intended for particular nutritional purposes and Part B list of intended uses. The amendments are necessary to the provisions concerning the essential nutritional characteristics and the labelling declarations, given scientific and technological developments and to improve enforceability and clarity of the provisions
Import controls are crucial in verifying compliance of food and feed products with relevant legal requirements. Some products can only come into the EU through specific ports; and other products may be subject to specific restrictions which can change frequently.
Read more about imports and latest import conditions.
The EU intends to amend Regulation (EC) No 2017/186 to fix harmonised sampling procedures for commodities subject to specific controls, i.e. for the time being sesame seeds and betel leaves from India. This includes a simplifying reporting procedures by Member States. A recent consultation has now ended.
The EU is consulting on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation on the temporary increase of official controls and emergency measures governing the entry into the Union of certain goods from certain third countries.
The draft is published for feedback for a period of 4 weeks (from 18 June to 16 July 2019).
All FSS consultations are published on this website.