General Information

General Information

Food safety is a top priority in Europe. It is therefore the intention of the European Union (EU) to ensure that all food produced in Europe is safe for consumers. EU legislation guarantees the safety of pork at every step of the production chain – from the farm to the table of the consumers. The highest standards of pig health and pig welfare contribute to protecting food safety and public health. In this way Europe builds a high level of consumer trust in pork and pork products.

This high level of consumer trust is strengthened by the introduction of the concept of full traceability that guarantees the tracking and tracing of any pork product through all stages of production, processing and distribution. Food Businesses Operators must make sure that all foodstuffs can be traced right through the food chain, from farm to table.

In addition Europe’s food safety risk policy is based on a thorough assessment, management and communication of food safety risks. Part of this is the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that provide independent scientific advice to the decision makers who regulate food safety in Europe.
And at the end of Europe’s food safety rules, Europe applies the ‘precautionary principle’. This means that if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting there is a potential risk, Europe immediately takes action to limit or eliminate the risk. It does not necessarily need to wait for proof that there really is a risk.

In order to support the Farm to Table safety approach, European pork industry has introduced integrated quality control systems that are implemented throughout the entire production chain and provide additional guarantees on quality and safety of the production process and the products.

As a result European pork exporters can guarantee that:
European Pork can be fully trusted!

Precautionary Principle

Precautionary Principle

The European policy for ensuring the highest level of safety of pork is based on a sound and thorough risk assessment. Before taking any decision about whether a food product is safe to eat or whether to allow a particular ingredient or additive, the European Union asks the scientific advice of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In addition to that, the European Union applies the ‘precautionary principle’ for managing any food safety risk.

If there are reasonable grounds for suspecting there is a possible safety risk problem, the European Union does take actions in order to limit or eliminate the risk. It does not necessarily need to wait for proof that there really is a risk. The risks are set ‘on hold’ and in the meantime more scientific information is asked for. Any use of the precautionary principle must target only the potential risk. And it must be non-discriminatory – in other words it must affect all producers equally.

The European Union uses the precautionary principle because food safety is a top priority in Europe and because the European Union wants to ensure that all food produced in Europe is safe for consumers.

European pork is therefore recognized as being the safest pork in the world.

As a result European pork exporters can guarantee that:
European Pork can be fully trusted!

Traceability

Traceability

The European concept of ‘full traceability’ is an important element of the European policy for ensuring the highest level of safety of pork. Thanks to the European full traceability concept all foodstuffs can be traced right through the food chain, from farm to table. In this way consumers of European pork are protected in case any risk problem occurs.

The principle of the European traceability concept is that food can be traced and tracked through all stages of production, processing and distribution. This makes it possible to withdraw or recall unsafe products from the market. As such, traceability is a way of responding to potential food safety risks, to ensure that all food products in the EU are safe to eat. This is a cornerstone of the European food safety policy. Furthermore it provides consumers with targeted and accurate information on specific products.

In practice European food businesses operators have to guarantee that they are able to identify at least the immediate supplier of the product in question and the business operator to whom he has supplied. This is known as the ‘one-step-backward, one-step-forward’ approach.

The European Union uses the concept of full traceability because food safety is a top priority in Europe and because the European Union wants to ensure that all food produced in Europe is safe for consumers.

European pork is therefore recognized as being the safest pork in the world.

As a result European pork exporters can guarantee that:
European Pork can be fully trusted!

European Food Safety Authority

The European policy for ensuring the highest level of safety of pork is based on a sound and thorough risk assessment. Before taking any decision about whether a food product is safe to eat or whether to allow a particular ingredient or additive, the European Union asks the scientific advice of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

EFSA is a European agency that operates independently of the European regulators in order keep the responsibility for risk assessment (science) and for risk management (policy) separate. EFSA is responsible for the scientific risk assessment and for communicating its scientific findings to the public.

As such EFSA produces scientific opinions and advice that form the basis for European policies and legislation in the area of food safety. EFSA also collects and analyses information to make it possible to support the European risk assessment by the most comprehensive scientific information available. EFSA is also committed to work in openness and transparency.

The European Union has established the independent European Food Safety Authority because food safety is a top priority in Europe and because the European Union wants to ensure that all food produced in Europe is safe for consumers.

European pork is therefore recognized as being the safest pork in the world.

As a result European pork exporters can guarantee that:
European Pork can be fully trusted!

Animal Health And Welfare

Animal Health and Welfare

For ensuring the highest level of safety of pork, pigs where the pork comes from must be healthy. Therefore the European Union has severe rules in place for ensuring that the animals are kept healthy through good veterinary practice and to prevent outbreaks of contagious animal diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease and swine fever, or bird flu. If an outbreak does occur, it is carefully monitored and steps are taken to prevent it spreading.

To prevent diseased animals entering the food chain, all animals and animal products must meet strict health requirements before they can be imported into or traded within the Union. EU rules also require farm animals, like pigs to be identified so that they can be traced. The European rules for identification and registration of groups of pigs starts with ear tags with the number of the holding.

Next to that a register has to be maintained on each holding. And at the end a national register of pig holdings is set up. A computerised network enables veterinary authorities across Europe to exchange information about movements of live pigs and pork products within Europe.

For ensuring the highest levels of welfare European policy guarantees that pigs are not be subjected to avoidable pain or suffering. Research shows that farm animals are healthier, and produce better food, if they are well treated and able to behave naturally. Physical stress (e.g. from being kept, transported or slaughtered in poor conditions) can adversely affect not only the health of the animal but also the quality of meat.

The European Union has established a stringent animal health and animal welfare policy because food safety is a top priority in Europe and because the European Union wants to ensure that all food produced in Europe is safe for consumers.

European pork is therefore recognized as being the safest pork in the world.

As a result European pork exporters can guarantee that:
European Pork can be fully trusted!