Final Report of an Audit Conducted In Four European Union Member States February 3rd Through February 21st, 2014
Evaluating The Food Safety Systems Governing The Production of  Beef And Beef Products For Export To Canada

1. Introduction

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducted an audit of EU's beef food safety inspection systems from February 3rd through 21st, 2014. Nineteen Member States (MS) of the European Union had their meat inspection systems approved to export beef meat to Canada in the past. The CFIA selected the following four MSs for this audit based on various factors including country profiles, production volume, import compliance history, BSE status, United States Department of Agriculture-Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) and European Commission Directorate General for Health & Consumers – Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit observations and logistics:

  • Ireland (from February 3rd through 6th, 2014)
  • Sweden (from February 7th through 11th, 2014)
  • France (from February 12th through 17th, 2014)
  • Italy (from February 18th through 20th, 2014)

The audit began with opening meetings in each MS which were held in Dublin (Ireland), Uppsala (Sweden), Paris (France) and Rome (Italy) with the participation of representatives from the respective Central Competent Authorities (CCAs), the CFIA auditors, and, as applicable, a representative from the Canadian Embassy in European Union (EU), representatives of the Government (SANTÉ/FVO/other CA) and/or industry.

The CCAs provided detailed information on various subjects of interest to the CFIA which included:

  • Overview of the competent authority (CA) structure, overall duties of stakeholders involved in the beef meat inspection system and general information about the country
  • Inspection procedures and documentation of beef slaughter and processing
  • Animal Health/Food safety controls for BSE and SRM
  • Microbiology testing requirements, especially as it relates to control over E. coli O157
  • Training of official staff
  • Requirements for supervisory oversight
  • Export certification procedures and protocols
  • Information systems (e.g. compliance verification tools).
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