Primary production hygiene - food and feed

Primary Production Hygiene (PPH) Food and Feed Inspections have now been in place for six years and have proven to be an effective collaboration between DAERA and the Food Standards Agency to help maintain the integrity of the local feed food chain.

Dual food and feed basis

Were possible the dual food and feed basis of the inspections have provided a useful mechanism for farmers to be informed about the requirements which they must meet in order to comply with the legislation. Indeed there are increasing signs that farms which receive a PPH inspection are better placed to comply when subjected to a Cross Compliance Inspection for SMR 4 on Food and Feed law provided the information provided by PPH inspectors is followed.

Food Hygiene Regulations (NI) 2006 for primary producers

This legislation introduces a ‘farm to fork’ approach to ensure food safety throughout the food chain starting with primary production.  From January 2006 all primary producers (farmers and growers) must comply with these regulations to control potential food hazards at farm level.

All farmers must take measures to:-

  • prevent contamination of food arising from air, soil, water, feed, veterinary medicines, plant protection products, waste, animals, pests etc
  • keep facilities/equipment used in connection with primary production clean
  • prevent the introduction and spread of contagious diseases transmissible to humans
  • take account of results of any tests carried out that may affect human health
  • use plant protection products and biocides correctly

Farmers must also keep and retain accurate records relevant to food safety, including:

  • traceability of inputs purchased (i.e. food, feed, food producing animals and substances incorporated into food/feed)
  • traceability of outputs sold (i.e. food, feed and food producing animals)
  • veterinary products administered to animals including dates of administration and withdrawal
  • the occurrence of disease or pests that may affect food safety
  • any use of plant protection products and biocides
  • results of any relevant tests carried out

Inspections under these Regulations commenced in February 2007 and are carried out by DAERA Agri-food Inspection Branch on behalf of the Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland.  Inspection frequencies are risk based.  Farms with membership to an assurance scheme will be identified as lower risk resulting in a reduced inspection frequency.

Feed (Hygiene and Enforcement) Regulations (NI) 2005

From January 2006 all relevant farms known to DAERA have been automatically registered, as required by Regulation (EC) 183/2005, which sets out the requirements for feed hygiene.  All farmers that feed animals and/or produce crops for animal feed must ensure feed safety for food producing animals.  They must also ensure that feeds can be traced in the event of a safety incident.

From 1st January 2008 all farm businesses must comply with the regulations.

To comply farmers must:-

Store and handle feed in such a way as to:

  • prevent hazardous contamination, for example from chemicals, pesticides, fertilisers, medicines etc.
  • prevent animals, vermin and pests from causing contamination
  • prevent feed spoilage for example due to moulds or contact with animal waste
  • keep medicated feed separate from other feed
  • keep pet food containing any meat product separate from other feed

Keep accurate traceability records, including source, type, quantity and date received for animal feeds and the animals they are fed to:

  • destination, type and quantity for feed material sold
  • details of crop protection products and biocides use

Keep equipment used for mixing, storing or transporting feed clean.

Record keeping

EC Regulation 852/2004 & 183/2005 requires all primary producers to keep certain records relating to food and feed safety controls on their farm.

These records can help to quickly identify the origin of a feed or food related problem and allow action to be taken to resolve it with minimal disruption to farm businesses.

Veterinary medicine records

This includes the records of all veterinary medicines purchased and used. For the purchases of medicines, the Vets receipts will usually be adequate provided these itemise the individual medicines purchased. However, for the use of medicines, a record book or sheets, or computer records must be maintained showing details of every animal treated, either by you, your staff or a veterinary surgeon. This must include, as a minimum, the animal’s identification number, the date of treatment, the product used and any withdrawal periods.

Pesticide application records

This includes a record of all pesticides applied either by you, your staff or a contractor to agricultural land. A pesticide application record sheet or book must be maintained where these products are applied to either crops or grassland e.g. a weed killer applied to grassland.  This must include, as a minimum, the location/field number, the date the pesticide was used and the name (or MAPP number) of the pesticide used.     

Traceability records for food and feed

Records of Inputs - including all food, feed and food producing animals and substances incorporated into food/feed. 

Detailing in particular:

  • name and address of supplier
  • nature and quantity of products supplied
  • date of delivery of inputs to the farm

Records of Outputs - including all food, feed and food producing animals.

Detailing in particular:

  • name and address of customer
  • nature and quantity of products supplied
  • date products left the farm

The occurrence of diseases which may affect the safety of products of animal origin.

The results of any analyses/checks carried out on samples of animal origin or plant samples that have importance for human health.

Templates for some of the required records are available to download from this website below. Food and Feed record keeping packs are also available in your local DAERA Direct office.

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