The European Commission has requested EFSA guidance (EFSA-Q-2008-294) on the detailed rules of a food safety criterion for fresh poultry meat during shelf life with the purpose to be in accordance with the existing process hygiene criterion on carcasses under conditions of processing and storage in line with Community provisions.
Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 lays down microbiological criteria for foodstuffs. Included in this, a process hygiene criterion with regard to Salmonella is set for carcasses of broilers after chilling in 25 g of a pooled sample of neck skin (n=50, c=7, method EN/ISO 6579). In case of unsatisfactory results, improvement in slaughter hygiene and review of process controls, origin of the animals and bio-security measures in the farm of origin, are required. In accordance with Article 10 of Regulation 2073/2005, microbiological criteria should be revised in the light of the changes observed in the Salmonella prevalence.
Data information needed
EFSA is seeking scientific data from Third Parties (official food control authorities, meat industry, associations and universities), which could be useful for gathering information on the possible link between Salmonella contamination on broiler carcasses in the slaughterhouse and their fresh broiler meat products in the processing plant. EFSA encourages the submission of peer-reviewed data as the most relevant and reliable documents; however, non-peer-reviewed data like annual reports, internal quality control reports, etc will also be considered.
EFSA would appreciate receiving data covering the occurrence (prevalence) of Salmonella on broiler carcasses after chilling but before further processing in 25 g of a pooled sample of neck skin (n=50, c=7, method EN/ISO 6579) as described in Chapter 2 of the Regulation 2073/2005 or with other methods and at the same time data on the occurrence (prevalence) of Salmonella on fresh broiler meat at the end of processing i.e. after cutting and/or deboning but before placing on the market.
It should be noted that in order to assess the possible link between Salmonella contamination on broiler carcasses in the slaughterhouse and on fresh broiler meat in the processing plant, tested pooled samples/carcasses/batches in the slaughterhouse should be identifiable and traceable also at the fresh meat level in the processing plant.
Additional information should include the following:
- the methodology used,
- the stage where sampling was done,
- a detailed description of the food(s) investigated (e.g. fresh meat with or without skin)
- the year and Member State in which the data were gathered.
For the purpose of this call for data, fresh broiler meat means chicken meat that has not undergone any preserving process other than chilling or cutting/deboning. Definition of food safety criterion as established in the Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 means a criterion defining the acceptability of a product or a batch of foodstuff applicable to products placed on the market. Definition of process hygiene criterion as established in the Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 means a criterion indicating the acceptable functioning of the production process. Such a criterion is not applicable to products placed on the market. It sets an indicative contamination value above which corrective actions are required in order to maintain the hygiene of the process in compliance with food law.