European Commission Hygiene of Foodstuffs Regulations 2006 & Amendment Regulations 2009 – 2018: Changes & Impacts
The European Communities (Hygiene of Foodstuffs) Regulations 2006 (SI No. 369 of 2006) imposes obligations on the food industry in respect of the hygiene of food related products including the general hygiene requirements, HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) and registration of food businesses under their control. It serves as an important objective in high level consumer protection, by ensuring food safety from the place of primary production up to, and including, placing on the market or export. It addresses all food manufacturers along the food chain except for supply of small quantities or production for domestic use.
HACCP Principles are applied by businesses in food production to identify and control food-related hazards before they pose a threat or risk to human health. Organisations should implement and maintain a permanent procedure(s) based on the below mentioned 7 HACCP principles that include the following:
- Identification of any hazards that must be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels.
- Identification of critical control points at the step or steps at which control is essential to prevent or eliminate a hazard or reduce it to acceptable levels.
- Establish critical limits at critical control points.
- Establishing and implementing effective monitoring procedures at critical control points.
- Establishing corrective actions when monitoring indicates that a certain CCP is not under control.
- Establishing procedures which are carried out regularly to verify the measures outlined above.
- Establishing documentation and records commensurate with the nature and size of the business to demonstrate effective application of the measures outlined above.
In November 2010, The European Communities (Hygiene of Foodstuffs) (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (SI No. 497 of 2010) amended the European Communities (Hygiene of Foodstuffs) Regulations 2006 with reference to enforcement provisions. Then in October 2014, The European Communities (Hygiene of Foodstuffs) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (SI No. 453 of 2014) gave effect to Commission Regulation (EU) No. 579/2014 granting derogation from certain provisions of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 regarding the transport of liquid oils and fats by sea. More recently, in March 2018, the European Communities (Hygiene of Foodstuffs) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI No. 82 of 2018) gave effect to Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/238 amending the Annex to Regulation (EU) No. 579/2014, and also amending the European Communities (Hygiene of Foodstuffs) Regulations 2006 (SI No. 369 of 2006).
These Regulations amend the European Communities (Hygiene of Foodstuffs) Regulations 2006 (SI No. 369 of 2006) in the manner specified above, by ensuring that references in those Regulations to Commission Regulation (EU) No. 579/2014 incorporate the amendments to the Annex of that Regulation, which were introduced by Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/238.
These Regulations refer to all stages of production, processing of food and to export. Food Business Operators must comply with the following specific hygiene measures outlined in Article 14 (2) Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004:
– Compliance with microbial criteria for foodstuffs
– Procedures needed to meet targets set to achieve the objectives of this regulation
– Compliance with temperature control requirements for foods
– Maintenance of the cold chain
– Sampling & analysis Procedures are established for the setting of objectives or performance standards
Registration of establishments is mandatory and specific hygiene requirements apply to imports and exports from the Community. Annex 1 lays down the hygiene requirements addressing the primary production sector and Annex 2 is applicable to all other food business operators including premises, transport, equipment, waste, water supply, personal hygiene, packaging, heat treatment, training.