On May 21 the preliminary audit results of the Russian control system for monitoring residues of harmful and prohibited substances in animal products were discussed by the Directorate General of the European Commission for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE).
The discussion was attended by Maxim Tsukanov, Head of Directorate for International Cooperation and Veterinary Control of Export/Import and Transportation of the Rosselkhoznadzor, as well as DG SANTE auditors Miren Izaskun El Busto and Aleksey Solyakov.
The representatives of the European Commission said that since May 14 they had visited three Rosselkhoznadzor subordinate institutions: the FGBI Novosibirsk MVL, the FGBI Leningrad MVL and FGBI Saratov MVL. They reported that during the audit one of the most important issues for them was inspection of the internal laboratory quality and safety control of products in these institutions.
In addition the DG SANTE representatives reminded that during the previous audit conducted in 2017 they had recommended that the Russian side ensured traceability of product samples sent for laboratory testing. The MERCURY electronic product certification system introduced last year and integrated with the VESTA laboratory test registration system, allowed us to achieve this requirement. The auditors were able to trace the origin of animals received for slaughter based on the example of a specific sample.
During the audit the European party studied data on horse population and number of slaughterhouses, as well as on planning monitoring of horse meat in Russia in connection with the interest of Russian producers in export of horse meat to the European Union. The DG SANTE representatives also familiarized themselves with the draft rules of animal identification in Russia. They reported that in many countries such rules had already been adopted, therefore the development of such instructions by the Russian side is very timely and will allow Russia to expand exports of livestock products.
The European delegation noted that since the previous DG SANTE audit the Rosselkhoznadzor had done a lot of work and tried to implement the recommendations given by the European Commission two years before.
The final meeting within the DG SANTE auditors’ visit will be held on May 24.