EU Proposes Food Hygiene Provisions for Insects Intended for Human Consumption

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March 6, 2019 - Scott Stephens

The EU Commission has proposed an amendment that would add a new section to Annex III of Regulation 853/2004/EC on food hygiene regulating insects.

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The proposed amendment would add a new section to Annex III pertaining to insects intended for human consumption. Insects as foodstuffs are subject to authorization under the EU’s Novel Food Regulation 2015/2283/EU. The proposed modification to Regulation 853/2004/EC has been developed in part in response to the scientific opinion issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in October 2015, which provided a risk profile related to production and consumption of insects as food. This opinion concluded that the specific production methods as well as a variety of other factors may have a significant impact on the possible presence of biological and chemical contaminants in food and feed products derived from insects.

Current legislation, including Regulation 142/2014/EU, pertains to insects not intended for human consumption and is therefore insufficient to deal with the increased prevalence of insects intended to be consumed by humans on the EU market. The Commission has concluded that in order to ensure consistency with current EU regulations on food hygiene, provisions on the species of insects intended for human consumption must be incorporated into Regulation 853/2004/EC.

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Regulation 853/2004/EC establishes hygiene rules on food of animal origin for food business operators. These rules supplement the provisions established by Regulation 852/2004/EC on food hygiene, and apply to both processed and unprocessed foodstuffs products of animal origin.

This proposal was open to public comment through 20 February 2019. All interested parties were encouraged to provide feedback, which the Commission will take into account when finalizing this initiative.


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