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Permission to use traditional meat smoking methods to remain in force beyond September 1

BC, Riga, 27.04.2017.Print version
Latvian food producers will be able to keep using their traditional meat smoking methods also after the European Commission’s derogation for restrictions on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) expires on September 1, 2017, Zanda Matuzale, director of the Veterinary and Food Department at the Agriculture Ministry, told LETA today.

The Agriculture Ministry’s official indicated that Latvia will be able to apply the PAHs derogation also beyond the September 1, 2017 deadline until the European Commission comes up with a new solution after reassessing the existing PAHs restrictions.

Matuzale said that a scientific study on PAHs in smoked meat was carried out with the Agriculture Ministry’s support last year and that the scientists worked out guidelines for reducing benzopyrene and PAHs levels in smoked meat products. The study found that it is possible to reduce PAHs levels in smoked food products.

The data obtained in the study were sent to the European Commission which has started reassessing the derogation to work out a solution based on the data submitted by the member states concerned.

In June 2014, the European Commission's standing committee in Brussels adopted a regulation temporarily exempting several EU member states, including Latvia, from the existing maximum level for benzopyrene in traditional smoked meat and fish products.

Under the regulation, Latvia, Ireland, Romania, Finland, Sweden and the UK received permission to make traditional smoked fish products in their territories. Like before, the maximum level of benzopyrene in these smoked meat and fish products must not exceed five micrograms per kilogram.

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