ECJ judgement: Salmonella in fresh poultry meat

Due to their resistance and adaptability, salmonellae are often the cause of foodborne gastrointestinal illnesses (salmonellosis) in the European Union (EU), which is why they are often the cause of alerts in the EU Rapid Alert System (RASFF). The majority of salmonella cases are attributed to contaminated food of animal origin (poultry, etc.).

In April this year, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in the case Salmonella testing in fresh poultry meat. The dispute was between a poultry meat trader and the Lithuanian Food and Veterinary Authority. The question was whether a competent authority of a Member State may classify the foodstuff fresh poultry meat as unsafe according to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 if pathogenic microorganisms other than the salmonella serotypes listed in Annex I, Chapter 1, point 1.28 of Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 were detected.

The ECJ decided that the competent authorities may take appropriate measures to impose restrictions on the placing on the market or withdrawal from the market of foodstuffs although they comply with the Union law provisions specific to them. However, this is only possible if, in the opinion of the authorities, there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that these foods are unsafe.

Ensure quality

According to Article 14 (8) of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, fresh poultry meat can be considered safe food despite a salmonella finding if it is clearly labelled that the product is to be heated and that good kitchen hygiene is to be observed.

Our experts from the microbiology department carry out the detection of viable and thus pathogenic salmonellae in accordance with DIN EN ISO 6579-1 : 2020-08. In addition, using a PCR rapid method (ASU L 00.00-98 : 2007-04), it is often possible to detect the DNA of salmonellae in food within 24 hours. In addition to the methods mentioned, we offer numerous other accredited microbiological tests.

We will be happy to advise you. Contact us for more information.