EU Members Agree on Traceability Rules for Animal By-products

At the Standing Committee for the Food Chain and Animal Health, European Union (EU) member states endorsed a proposal by the European Commission (EC) that aims to improve the traceability of animal by-products through identification and marking systems.

According to the proposal, the EC’s animal by-products Regulation No. 1774/2002 should be amended so that color-coded packaging or vehicles are used for any animal by-products being moved from one member state to another.

Pre-set colors to be used, depending on the type of animal by-products being transported, are:

• Black for Category 1 material, such as carcasses from which specified risk material has not been removed;

• Yellow for Category 2 material, such as fallen stock; and

• Green for Category 3 material, such as meat fit for human consumption but removed from the food chain for commercial reasons.

EU member states will be allowed to introduce complementary color-coding systems for animal by-products transported only at national level. The rules for the commercial documentation that must accompany any animal by-products being transported within the EU will also be altered slightly to further enhance traceability.

Additionally, the decision will make it compulsory to mark meat and bone meal and animal fat from rendering plants that process Category 1 and 2 animal by-products. The marking substance glyceroltriheptanoate must be used to do this.

Member states can introduce additional national marking requirements for other animal by-products that will remain within their territories. The EC formally adopted this decision, which goes into effect July 1, 2008.

October 2007 RENDER | back