Technical specifications on harmonised epidemiological indicators for biological hazards to be covered by meat inspection of bovine animals
In this report harmonised epidemiological indicators are proposed for food-borne biological hazards to public health that are related to bovine animals and meat thereof and that can be addressed within meat inspection. These hazards include Salmonella, pathogenicverocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli, Cysticercus (Taenia saginata) and mycobacteria. An epidemiological indicator is defined as the prevalence or the concentration of the hazard at a certain stage of the food chain or an indirect measure of the hazard that correlates with the human health risk caused by the hazard. The indicators can be used by the European Commission and the Member States to consider when adaptations to meat inspection methods may be required, and to carry out risk analysis to support such decisions. It is foreseen that the indicators will be used in the bovine carcase meat safety assurance system outlined in the EFSA Scientific Opinion, particularly to help categorise farms/herds and slaughterhouses according to the risk related to the hazards as well as setting appropriate specific hazard-based targets in/on bovine carcases and, when appropriate, in bovine farms/herds. Depending on the purpose and the epidemiological situation risk managers should decide on the most appropriate indicator(s) to use, either alone or in combination, at national, regional, slaughterhouse or farm/herd level. It is recommended that risk managers should define the harmonised requirements for controlled husbandry conditions of farms, and the requirements for food chain information. Member States are invited to organise training regarding the implementation of the indicators and the reporting of data generated by the implementation in accordance with Directive 2003/99/EC. The proposed indicators should be regularly reviewed in the light of new information and the data generated by their implementation.