Manastireanu (ANSVSA): Everything is on shelf and in sanitary-veterinary controlled locations is good for consumption

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Everything is on the shelf at this time and in places sanitary veterinary controlled is good for consumption, said Vice President of the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority /ANSVSA/ Vladimir Manastireanu, on the public television.

His statement was backed by the president of the Dairy Industry Association of Romanian Employers /APRIL/ Dorin Cojocaru, who stressed that the Romanian milk remains one of the safest products in Europe.

ANSVSA representative explained that the situation of contaminated milk with aflatoxin arose from a self control made by the producing firm. Later, veterinary inspectors took samples and confirmed it by laboratory tests.

„There are two kinds of control, the one that the producers or large store chains make and that applies to all products, not just milk and the official control of veterinarians, by taking sampling in conformity with a surveillance program. This was about a self-control and we must see if our lab tests confirm. The industry comes to our help by this self controls and I think there is a collaboration between us not seen in many countries of Europe „, Vice President of ANSVSA stressed.

Dorin Cojocaru explained that aflatoxin is produced by some molds and appears in unsuitable grain or fodder used in animal feed.

He said that from the messages received from processors – APRIL, accounting for 80 percent of the dairy market in Romania – hysteria was stirred, and some retailers have tried to remove the contaminated batches of milk from the shelf.

In this context, Vice President of the Large Commercial Networks Association of Romania (AMRCR), Delia Nica, underlined that retailers will not start to withdraw the products from the shelves until they have a certificate attesting that the incriminated batch actually reached the stores.

„We can not jeopardize a contract with a supplier until we receive an announcement from the veterinary authorities. We can not start withdrawing milk from the shelf until we have the certificate attesting that the respective consignment reached the shelf. We want the producer certificate to appear as soon as possible, so that the consumer, regardless of his/her supply source, to know that the product does not come from the street corner and has all the information about its origin „, Delia Nica emphasized.

Specialists have said that the human body has signs of illness due to consumption of aflatoxin only after ingesting large quantities over a long period of time.

ANSVSA announced on Monday, in a press release, that it suspects that the limits admitted for aflatoxin M1 were exceeded in milk consignments originating from three dairy farms and from two milk processing units.

Suspected milk batches were seized until arrival of confirmation analysis reports, going to, depending on the case, initiate the alert via the Rapid Alert System for Food and Fodder (SRAFF) and the respective consignments are to be destroyed in case of some positive bulletins, or the seizure decision lifted, were they declared free for marketing, in the case of negative bulletins.

The information comes after, on March 7, Agriculture Minister Daniel Constantine announced that veterinary inspectors seized a quantity of about 13,000 liters of milk, coming from a Romanian farmer, after it was discovered the presence of aflatoxin in it.

According to him, there were two cases of milk contaminated with aflatoxin, in Romania. In the first case, it is a Romanian farmer, and the second case concerns a lot of milk imported from Hungary.

ANSVSA showed on Monday that, in case of the milk from Hungary, that was suspected to have exceeded the limits for aflatoxin M1, lab analysis determined that the incriminated batches did not present higher aflatoxin M1 quantities and that the respective milk may be sold.

On the other hand, the cows farm, where aflatoxin limits were exceeded in milk, is continuously monitored by inspectors of the Sanitary Veterinary Authority through lab tests.

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