Checks on peanuts from the United States are to be increased but controls on pistachios have been relaxed in Europe.

The European Commission has updated regulation on the temporary increase of official controls and emergency measures covering the entry into the EU of certain goods from some non-EU countries.

Because of non-compliances with EU requirements for contamination by aflatoxins, the frequency of identity and physical checks on groundnuts from the United States has been increased from 10 percent to 20 percent beginning this past week.

Information on pistachios indicates a satisfactory degree of compliance with the relevant EU rules for aflatoxin so the higher level of official controls is no longer justified. The rate of checks had been at 10 percent.

Informed by RASFF and national authorities
Changes are based on the occurrence and relevance of food incidents reported through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) portal and information from official controls performed by member states on food and feed of non-animal origin.

The Commission reviews the lists about every six months to take into account new information on risks and non-compliance.

For lemons from Turkey and groundnuts from Brazil, the data indicates the emergence of new risks to human health, from possible contamination by pesticide residues, requiring an increased level of official controls to 20 percent of identity and physical checks.

Ethylene oxide has been added to list of substances looked for in okra from India plus checks for pesticide residues on this product have been increased to 20 percent.

Salmonella controls on sesame seeds from Sudan have risen to 50 percent because of the high amount of non-compliances detected by EU countries.

The frequency of checks on oranges, mandarins, clementines, wilkings and similar citrus hybrids, and certain peppers from Turkey has gone up to 20 percent because of pesticide residue issues. There has also been an increase, to 50 percent, for identity and physical checks on vine leaves from Turkey.

The rate of controls on jackfruit from Malaysia and some peppers from Uganda has been set at 50 percent because of pesticide residue findings.

Revised checks on other products and countries
For hazelnuts and products from hazelnuts from the country of Georgia, information indicates a good trend of compliance with EU requirements in regard to contamination by aflatoxins so the frequency of checks has been decreased to 20 percent.

Black pepper from Brazil is still undergoing checks for Salmonella at a rate of 50 percent as are sesame seeds from Nigeria.

Sesame seeds from Ethiopia have been subject to an increased level of official controls because of the risk of contamination by Salmonella since January 2019. In addition to these controls, all consignments will have to be accompanied by an official certificate stating that all results of sampling and analysis show the absence of Salmonella in 25-gram samples.

Some peppers from Sri Lanka have had stricter checks because of aflatoxin since July 2017. All consignments will need to have an official certificate showing they have been sampled and analyzed for aflatoxins and results demonstrate the relevant maximum levels have not been exceeded.

Consignments of sesame seeds from Ethiopia and certain peppers from Sri Lanka ,which are not accompanied by an official certificate and the revised demands for sampling and analysis, will still be accepted into the EU until Jan. 13, 2022.

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