Minutes of Feedstuffs Sub Committee Meeting: 4 August 2009

Last updated:
7 April 2010
Meeting held at the Jarvis Hotel, Perth.

Committee business

Attendees

Kate Connelly (SCOTSS, Argyll & Bute)
Maureen McLarty (South Ayrshire, LACORS)
Jacqui Angus (FSA)
George Begg (Angus)
Brian Wilson (SFELC, Stirling)
Stuart Joyce (Glasgow Scientific Services)
Robert Watson (South Lanarkshire)
Gary Glasgow (Aberdeenshire)
Derek Taylor (Fife)

Welcome, minute-taking and apologies
Apologies were received from Marzena Young (Perth & Kinross), Stephen Thomson (Midlothian), Alison Bannister (East Renfrew) and Jane White (GSS).

Minutes of Previous Meeting
Update from Public Analysts, paragraph 2: Jane White had requested that the second sentence be amended as it did not accurately reflect what was said. Kate Connelly proposed alternative wording.

Any other business, paragraph 1: Brian Wilson requested that the second sentence be deleted and that only the first sentence should be retained.

Subject to these amendments being made, the minutes were agreed.

Scottish Food Enforcement Liaison Committee (SFELC) Feedback
Kate Connelly reported that there was no feedback from the last SFELC meeting held in June. She proposed that a workshop be held similar to the event held in April.

Update from the Food Standards Agency

Jacqui Angus stated that the current representation from Scotland on the national ports panel was poor, and suggested that the group should seek a second representative. A list of authorities identified as having ports had been drawn from a 2005 FSA database that included authorities seeking funding for a port project. The authorities identified included Glasgow, Perth, Leith, Highland and Renfrewshire.
Jacqui Angus agreed to contact the relevant port authorities requesting that they nominate a member for the national ports group.
Action: Jacqui Angus

FVO Mission
Jacqui Angus reported on the FVO mission that had taken place in June 2009. The mission had not included an audit visit to Scotland. The following issues had been identified:

  • The issue of resources and finances was highlighted. In England, funding is currently based upon the population in each authority, whilst in Scotland it is based upon the number of holdings. The issues surrounding ring-fenced funding were noted.
  • Staffing resources were deemed inadequate.
  • The current UK system of multi-authorities was considered to be a source of inconsistent enforcement. The mission made a comparison with the Spanish system where there are only seven regional authorities.
  • The UK model comprises numerous competent authorities, all maintaining individual registers of feed suppliers with no central list. The FVO would like to see a centralised list for the UK.
  • The FVO were critical of the extensive use of announced visits.
  • The categories found in Annexes 1 and 2 of Regulation 183/2005 were causing problems for reporting officers.
  • The FVO visited Liverpool to examine the handling of imported feed.
  • The mission identified communication links between feed agencies and food agencies as an area of concern, particularly where food products are passing into the feed system.
  • The mission expressed concerns about the quantity of food packaging in feed products.
  • Confusion exists between agencies with regard to registration numbers (AMI number and Feed Hygiene Regulation number).
  • Current reliance upon the LACORS risk rating system was criticised.
  • There was a general consensus that insufficient sampling was taking place.
  • The quality of HACCP documentation was poor.

Jacqui Angus reminded the group that the FVO had only visited three local authorities and that the report was not a true reflection of the UK model. The full FVO report was still to be issued.

Policy update

  • The proposed legislation covering the marketing and safe use of feeds would come into force in September.
  • Changes relating to the sampling of feeds would require amendments to the Agriculture Act 1970 by 2010.
  • 'Record Keeping for Primary Production' is the title of guidance prepared in response to Cabinet Office concerns about the regulatory burden. The draft guidance that had been issued to feed businesses was currently four pages long and would be reduced to a single page. A process of consultation would take place.
  • A letter had been issued to each local authority in Scotland requesting a breakdown of feed expenditure for the years 2007-2008. Jacqui Angus apologised for the delay in requesting the information. The information was required for auditing and accountability purposes and had not been requested earlier due to an oversight.

Primary Production Report

Maureen McLarty reported that the Primary Production Road-shows were now taking place and invitees were advised to contact Jacqui Angus for any input. Jacqui Angus had stated that the road-shows provided an arena for discussion and participation.

The group looked at various checklists and guidance for the enforcement of primary production, and would work on developing a single combined document that would cover all salient points.

The Oatbridge course was fully subscribed. A third course would take place in October or November and was likely to be held in Perth.

The issue of food and feed joint inspections was discussed. George Begg stated that both Trading Standards (TS) and Environmental Health (EH) were doing separate visits and that appropriate officers will be called out if any issues arose. Robert Watson stated that EH were happy for TS to visit all farms. Maureen McLarty reported that work on food would not be undertaken within South Ayrshire as her warrant did not cover this work area.

Brian Wilson asked the group to consider who assesses the lead officers' competencies. Kate Connelly said that she believed it was up to senior managers to consider this in respect of their own local authority circumstances and service, and that any weakness would be highlighted at the audit stage.

Jacqui Angus stated that all comments relating to the Scottish Primary Production Official Controls System (SPPOCS) should be passed to Jackie Catterall. Jacqui Angus requested that closed premises should not be completed or left incomplete on SPPOCS but that the FSA should be notified by email.

Update from Public Analysts

Public Analysts stated that only Glasgow laboratory analytical data was available, but it could possibly be interpreted as representative of Scotland overall. Of 78 samples, 5 samples failed. The failed samples included examples of low protein, low ash and high aflatoxin (bird nuts).

There were elevated levels of Deoxynivalenol and Zearalenone in 43 samples tested for mycotoxin, although none were above the maximum recommended levels.

All samples passed for lead and cadmium content.

Public Analysts stated that, by provision of the new EC sampling analysis regulations, the analyst could now use other extraction and clean-up procedures, provided they could prove that these procedures produced results that were as good as the statutory methods. One outcome of this could be quicker and, hopefully, cheaper analysis. An example given was vitamin A, for which GSS could normally only test four per day.

Brian Wilson stated that SAL in East Kilbride could test for dioxin-like PCB’s for a reasonable rate.

Kate Connelly requested that the analyst provide a Public Analyst report in advance of future meetings.
Action: Stuart Joyce

Animal Feed Law Enforcement Liaison Group (AFELG) Report

Kate Connelly had nothing to report.

Update from LACORS Feed Focus Group

Maureen McLarty had nothing to report.

Reports from Regional Quality Systems (QS) Groups

Kate Connelly reported that minutes for the North and West group meetings had been received.

West: Maureen McLarty said that the group felt that there was no benefit to be gained by joint visits. The current EH input was minimal. The group had no fixed format for inspections. A report of theobromine in cocoa by-products was discussed as a possible project. There was a discussion on the emission of gas by mould killers.

Maureen McLarty informed the group of the EU Feed Additives and Premixtures Association's website: www.fefana.org

The next group meeting will incorporate a tour of the GSS laboratory.

East: Brian Wilson stated that the group had met and had nothing to report.

North: George Begg had nothing to report.

Other Relevant Group Reports/LAEMS Report/Feedstuffs Conference 2010/Training Update

Other Relevant Group Reports
There were none.

LAEMS Report
Brian Wilson requested an update from the FSA.

Feedstuffs Conference 2010
Kate Connelly encouraged all members to send in written suggestions: small working groups would then work on the finer details. The next meeting would discuss this and members were invited to consider the topic beforehand. Kate Connelly said that she may draw up a proposal.
Action: Kate Connelly

Training
Brian Wilson said that Scottish Branch training would take place in August at GSS and Dundee/Perth.

Current Consultations

Brian Wilson noted that Marzena Young had expressed concerns regarding the current Food Code of Practice, and in particular the food hygiene qualification. Kate Connelly stated that the issue had been dealt with previously and had been minuted.

Any other business

Robert Watson enquired as to whether the Rural Payments Agency used the SPPOCS system. Jacqui Angus said that all inspections were on SPPOCS and that all agencies should have the facility to view each other's visits. Derek Taylor reported that they could not currently access other agencies' visits. Jacqui Angus would investigate the reasons for this.
Action: Jacqui Angus

Date and venue for next meeting
The next meeting would be held on 30 September 2009.