|Trichinella infections: Recommendations of the EFSA
Trichinellosis has become a rare disease in Germany. Can the controls of pigs and piglets therefore be stopped now? The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was asked to answer to the following terms of reference to assess the risks of not examining meat from pigs originating from Trichinella-free farms. Here is the official statement. |
|Additionally, the conditions under which outdoor access before weaning could be allowed in Trichinella-free pig farms were defined.
It should be noted that the request for opinion is restricted to the food chain up to the slaughter and that the question refers only to Trichinella-free farms complying with the requirements in the SCVPH opinion (Annex I).
The Scientific Panel on Biological Hazards arrived at the following main conclusions and recommendations:
Since the risk of Trichinella infections is negligible in pigs originating from farms classified as Trichinella-free according to the SCVPH opinion (2001), the additional risk reduction contributed by individual Trichinella testing is also negligible.
The compliance to the regulations for Trichinella-free farms is crucial for maintaining this negligible risk level of Trichinella infections, and the supervision of the compliance of Trichinella-free farms must be regular and on site.
The likelihood of sending for slaughter a Trichinella-positive carcass from a Trichinella-free farm will be better controlled if adequate surveillance tools are available to detect increases of exposure and consequently of Trichinella risk early.
The problem how to define the geographical regions or areas in which there is Trichinella absence or negligible prevalence in wildlife reservoirs is not trivial, with isolated islands as a possible exception.
There should be incentives to report the possible breakdowns in the status of the Trichinella-free farms.
The risk of acquiring Trichinella infections for piglets allowed outdoors before weaning would be correlated with the risk for sows and boars on the farm.
Source: Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Biological Hazards on Â“Risk assessment of a revised inspection of slaughter animals in areas with low prevalence of TrichinellaÂ” , The EFSA Journal (2005)200, 1-41
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