EFSA has asked for feedback on its revised guidelines for the submitting of dossiers on substances to be used in tackling microbial contamination on the surfaces of meat.
The European Food Safety Authority said its guidance includes data and examples of study designs for the evaluation of substances relating to consumer and environmental safety. It also examines the effectiveness of a chemical in decreasing the level of microbial contamination.
The document also outlines how evaluation of the possible development of antimicrobial resistance triggered by decontamination agents should be carried out.
The guidelines say that any dossier should include a summary document that contains a range of information including the principal and target function of the product and the intended use of the substance. An application must also have an administrative section, as well as a section on technical data that includes chemical names, CAS registry numbers, synonyms and trade names; EC numbers and REACH registration numbers; molecular weight, molecular and structural formula and solubility in water and/or organic solvents and in the food of contact.
The food safety watchdog said the information and data requested in the guidance on toxicological aspects correspond to what was previously published by the AFC/BIOHAZ guidance panels in a joint document in 2006.
EFSA has invited all interested parties to make their comments by 20 February, 2010. The body said all responses would be published on its website. It will also produce a summary report of the comments and said it would take them into consideration in finalising its report, which will be published in early 2010.
The issue has generated huge controversy in recent years after the European Commission banned poultry from the United States that had been treated with chlorine as an anti-microbial decontaminant. The US, exasperated with the continued refusal of the EU to grant entry to its poultry treated with chlorine, has asked the World Trade Organisation (WHO) to make a ruling on the matter. At the beginning of January, Russia also banned chlorine-treated poultry from the US.
A copy of the guidelines can be viewed via the following link