Safety assurances on European processed animal proteins and animal fats

Processed animal proteins (PAPs) and animal fats from Europe are safe to use despite the African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) now being present in the region, the European Fat Renderers and Processors Association (EFPRA) said on 6 November.

“Enterprises in third countries may have concerns about the safety of PAPs and animal fats. However, there is no risk of transmission of ASFV because of the legal safety rules regarding animal by-products within the EU.”

The EFPRA said the safety of EU rendered products was based on safe sourcing and safe processing.

“Before any pigs are slaughtered for food production purposes, the animals are inspected by a qualified veterinarian. Only healthy pigs are approved for slaughter.”

The pigs could only come from farms that had no restrictions for slaughtering pigs in relation to notifiable diseases. Animal by-products exclusively from these healthy pigs slaughtered for human consumption were used to generate feed grade animal fats and proteins via safe rendering processes, the EFPRA said.

All processing was carried out in accordance with European regulations.

“In total, there are six approved methods for processing porcine animal by-products. Five of these methods stipulate temperatures in excess of 100°C for more than 16 minutes. This is more than sufficient to eliminate ASFV.”

The other method did not specify a fixed time or temperature but relied on a validated proof of efficacy over a certain time period of 30 production days.

“During that time microbiological standards have to be guaranteed. One is the absence of Clostridium perfringens in 1g of product in a sample of material taken directly after the treatment,” the EFPRA said.

Clostridium perfringens is a good key indicator as it is ubiquitous and thermal resistant. The conditions needed to eliminate ASFV are less intense than those required to eliminate Clostridium perfringens therefore ASFV will be controlled in all processes that eliminate Clostridium perfringens.”