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BSE food safety risk assessment reports for Latvia and Lithuania

(July 2013)

FSANZ has completed Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) food safety assessments for the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Lithuania. This brings the total number of countries for which FSANZ has completed BSE food safety assessment to 6. The other four countries that FSANZ has completed BSE food safety assessment are: New Zealand, the Republic of Croatia, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Vanuatu.

Download the food safety risk assessment reports

The Australian Government’s BSE food safety policy requires that all countries exporting or seeking to export beef to Australia have a risk assessment undertaken by FSANZ.

The risk assessments show that Latvia and Lithuania have effective controls for prevention of BSE in place. FSANZ has concluded that the risk posed to consumers from the export of beef products from these two countries is negligible.

FSANZ examined the effectiveness of BSE-related controls throughout the beef production chain in each country. Animal feeding practices, transportation, animal identification and traceability, slaughtering, and food safety and food recall systems were examined.

Key points from the risk assessments

Lithuania

  • FSANZ has recommended that the Republic of Lithuania be assigned Category 1 BSE food safety risk.
  • Category 1 status means there are comprehensive and well-established controls to prevent both the introduction and amplification of the BSE agent in a country’s cattle population, and contamination of the human food supply.

Latvia

  • FSANZ has recommended that the Republic of Latvia be assigned Category 2 BSE food safety risk.
  • Category 2 status means that countries have effectively implemented and complied with appropriate BSE controls to prevent both the introduction and amplification of the BSE agent in a country’s cattle population, and contamination of the human food supply.
  • However, some of the measures may not have complied with international requirements for a long enough period of time to achieve Category 1 status.
  • More stringent export certification requirements apply to Category 2 countries.

Beef and beef products exported from either Category 1 or Category 2 countries are regarded as posing a negligible risk to public health. These products can be exported to Australia, subject to meeting certification requirements and any required quarantine measures.

The Department of Agriculture is responsible for implementing import certification requirements in relation to imported beef and beef products.

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