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Lanka's chances of entering EU food market high - Expert

THE Sri Lankan food industry has a high potential to enter the EU market and foods in hotels are of high standard and "I recommend Sri Lanka as a very good tourist destination," said an EU Food Hygiene expert from Germany, Dr. Uwe-Jens Saizer.

Dr. Uwe-Jens Saizer

Dr. Saizer said that he has visited several tourist hotels in the country and was impressed about food and hygiene in those hotels and it is important to make the industrialists aware about the potential legislation requirements and SCPT certification.

Only 10 countries so far have been qualified to export food items to the EU market, he said.

Saizer was invited by the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka to conduct a workshop on EU legislation requirements for hygiene of foodstuffs in order to provide expert advice on how to be compliant with the above regulations and how to obtain HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) certification.

He said that food safety is the key issue in EU food legislation as food crises in the nineties put safety on the top of the agenda in EU food policies, which has led to a restructuring of EU food legislation.

The General Food Law, Regulation (EC)178/2002, constitutes the framework of European Food Law. The General Food Law establishes that all food marketed in the EU must be safe and lays down requirements on transparency in the food chain.

Regulation (EC)852/2004 on the hygienic of foodstuffs defines certain specific hygienic requirements for food imported into the EU. The applications of the regulation entered into force on January 1, 2006.

The most important aspect of this regulation is that hygienic requirements based on a HACCP system will also be legally binding for food produced outside the EU.

General Manager ECCSL, Sujeevan Perera said that the new mandatory traceability requirement applies to all food including tea, animal feed, food producing animals and all types of food chain operators from the farming sector to processing, transport, storage, distribution and retail to the consumer.

To make the industrialists aware on these points, a half day programme will be conducted on January 26 at the Ceylon Continental Hotel, Colombo.



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