27 May 2019 10:00

EU experts complete inspection of Russian food safety control system

MOSCOW. May 27 (Interfax) - Experts from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) have completed an inspection of Russia's system for control over traces of harmful and prohibited substances in animal products, Russian plant and animal health watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor reported.

The inspectors, who arrived in Russia on May 14, visited Rosselkhoznadzor analytical laboratories in Novosibirsk, Leningrad Region, Saratov and Stavropol and checked compliance with DG SANTE recommendations made in the course of a similar inspection in 2017.

At the closing meeting at Rosselkhoznadzor on Friday, the members of the European delegation noted that in the past two years Russia has done a great deal of work to eliminate the voiced concerns, the watchdog said. The inspectors confirmed the equivalency of methods used in Rosselkhoznadzor labs and particularly noted their timely validation. They also noted the existence of effective internal lab control and inter-lab crosschecking, although they did find flaws in processing of reporting documentation.

DG SANTE auditor Miren Izaskun El Busto said the range of testing for contaminants and harmful substances is expanding, and report templates are consistent with reports from European Union countries. However, she said it would be a good idea to improve methods for selecting samples of animal by-products and improve traceability of products to the ultimate producer.

The EU inspectors particularly noted the unique capabilities that the Mercury federal information system has given the Russian veterinary service, and its employees' proficiency with this information system, Rosselkhoznadzor said.

The DG SANTE experts said they will soon send the report on the audit.