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Meat inspection on the table during the Danish Presidency

31-01-2012 16:00:00

Conference in Copenhagen focuses on food safety and modernisation of meat inspection

“Consumer safety is the core of EU meat inspection. We must not get ill because of hams, steaks or Salami. This is, after all, what meat inspection is about. This is why inspection is so important and the reason why we begin February with a conference on meat inspection,” says Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Mette Gjerskov.

Meat inspection takes place at slaughter house and ensures that the products sold by butchers are safe. The inspection process was, however, developed many years ago, so veterinarians have to check for illnesses such as tuberculosis that are very rarely found in pork and beef today.

On 2 – 3 February, the Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries hosts a conference in Copenhagen. Participants from EU Member States, national and EU authorities, experts and stake-holders will gather for in depth debates.

“The EU meat inspection has functioned well and continues to do so. We must, however, admit that it was developed many years ago, and under different conditions. Now it is time for modernization; for adopting new knowledge and to focus effectively on those areas where there are greatest risks of spreading diseases. This will benefit food safety, consumers and businesses,” states Danish Minister Mette Gjerskov.

Report from EFSA
In the autumn of 2011, The European Food Safety Authority, EFSA, launched a report with rec-ommendations on which biological hazards, risks and diseases to prioritize. The EFSA report has already been the subject of debates in EU expert working groups.

The report underlines the importance of strengthening inspection for Salmonella; which causes ill-ness among 100,000 EU citizens every year. The report also points at developing the visual inspec-tion in order to avoid bacterial cross contamination which is a risk in connection with handling dur-ing inspection.

A common concern
“As a major producer and exporter of meat the EU plays a significant role in setting international standards. By focusing on the modernisation of meat inspection I hope that we can ensure up to date  and safe inspection for the future. Applied in the EU and hopefully recognized in third countries,” says Mette Gjerskov.

The press is invited to the welcome speech by Mette Gjerskov and the programme 9 a.m. – 2.45. p.m. Register and check in 8.00 a.m. – 9.00 a.m.
For enrollment contact Thor Seirø Mouritsen: +45 20 91 59 01

Press officer Erik Jepsen, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration
Tel: +45 72 27 66 97, email:

Contact to the minister
Press Officer Thor Seierø Mouritsen, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries
Tel: +45 20 91 59 01, email:


Eigtveds Pakhus
Asiatisk Plads 18
1402 Copenhagen