The Romanian food safety agency has stepped up controls on poultry meat and eggs with a focus on Poland.

The National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA) said the move was taken because of detection of Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium in poultry meat from Poland.

The agency added it had received a number of alert notifications through the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) for products that had been sent to Romania.

Compared with August to October this past year, there was an increase of about 40 percent in the same period in 2021 in alerts involving poultry meat products from Poland, according to ANSVSA.

Since the beginning of this year, 28 reports have been received by Romania through RASFF, concerning poultry meat or eggs, contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis or Salmonella Typhimurium, said Romanian officials.

Wider issue
There were almost 50 reports in September and October this year about Salmonella in poultry meat products from Poland on the RASFF portal.

The majority were posted by Poland as part of its own official controls but France, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Latvia and Germany were other notifying countries. Almost half were judged not serious as the Salmonella type involved was Salmonella Newport, Derby or Infantis. The European Union’s regulation on fresh poultry meat only lists detection of Salmonella Enteritidis or Typhimurium as making a product non-compliant.

Poland recently got approval to export poultry products to the United States following an assessment by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The USDA does not consider Salmonella Infantis an adulterant in chicken and allows the sale of poultry contaminated with it.

The country is the largest poultry producer in the European Union. According to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, exports exceeded 1.4 million tons in 2019.

ANSVSA has started intensified official controls at cold stores, logistics sites of supermarkets, poultry repacking units and poultry cutting establishments to reduce the risk to public health. It is not clear how long they will last.

Samples will be collected to identify any possible batches of fresh poultry meat contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis or Salmonella Typhimurium. These will be analyzed in the network of accredited laboratories.

Another focus is the marketing of eggs from other member states to verify whether standards are complied with.

ANSVSA said the purpose of additional checks is to identify non-compliances with legislation for the marketing of poultry meat and table eggs to ensure that these products intended for human consumption do not pose a health risk to the population.

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