Spain: New Salmonella Control Programme Launched

Source: Feedinfo News Service
(dated 07/07/2004)
July 7, 2004 – The Spanish authorities have implemented a programme to reduce the number of salmonella cases in Spain and improve egg and poultrymeat safety in general.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Health and Consumption, in the four-year period from 1998 to 2001 38% of food poisoning cases were salmonella-related, and caused by the consumption of eggs or egg-based products. Therefore, action is being taken to improve the safety of these products, as well as to educate people about their preparation.

This initiative is an important one, given that the Spanish consume a large quantity of these products, and that the egg industry is substantial. Indeed, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, in Spain there are currently 2,051 egg farms, with more than 47 million hens. The sector is considered to be one of the first of Europe, not only in terms of production capacity (35% of output was exported in 2003) but also in quality and competitiveness, the Ministry claims.

The aims of the salmonella programme are the following: the improvement of the sanitary conditions of bird-raising operations and of the industries and establishments in the sector; the improvement of detection systems, the communication and exchange of information relating to salmonellosis in Spain as compared to other communities; the improvement of the control, pursuit and management of salmonella cases in poultry-keeping, in eggs and egg-based products, with an increase in sampling and analysis; the development of preventive action procedures and information dissemination to reduce its incidence. The application of HACCP practice will also feature in the programme, as will measures to ensure proper labelling of egg products.

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