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IPIFF publishes guidance document for insect producers

IPIFF, the International Platform of Insects for Food & Feed has produced a guidance document on the best practices in quality and hygienic insect production.

The overall objective of the guide is to help insect producers for food and/or animal feed purposes to achieve a high level of consumer protection and animal health through the production of safe products. To this end, the guide provides guidance to insect producers to effectively apply EU food and feed safety legislation, while providing an incentive for them to develop a robust food and feed safety management system. In addition, the guide specifies requirements enabling to:

  1. Ensure that insect producers conform to their stated food and feed safety policy and demonstrate their commitments in this regard
  2. Help the insect producers to effectively communicate food and feed safety issues to the regulatory authorities, and when needed, to their suppliers, customers and relevant interested parties (i.e. consumers) in the food and feed chains.

Assessment by EU member states

Developed in the framework of the EU food and feed safety legislation, IPIFF has transmitted the document to the European Commission services, in view of its assessment by the EU members states representatives. “Pending discussion and endorsement by the European Commission and national authorities, the document may constitute a useful tool for all insect producing companies or those who intend to engage in insect production to implement EU food and feed Regulations”, explains Antoine Hubert, the IPIFF President.

Voluntary for now

Focusing on food and feed hygiene, the guide aims to reflect standards being followed by European insect producers, covering both food and feed production activities, from breeding to final processing. “We trust this document could serve as valuable source of information to EU and national public authorities, especially at a time when EU policy makers are reflecting on the possible authorisation of insect proteins in poultry feed and several novel food applications covering insects as food are in the pipeline”, adds Hubert. The guide remains of voluntary nature. “However, we trust that it can in the future be used in the framework of official controls so as to show compliance with food and feed safety obligations. It may also serve as a point of reference for insect production activities taking place outside Europe or for the development certification schemes covering insect production”, explains Lars-Henrik Lau Heckmann, the IPIFF Board Member in charge of ‘research and hygiene practices’.

Standards for insect welfare

Besides food and feed safety hygiene guidance, IPIFF has also published some general recommendations for ensuring high standards of animal welfare in insect production.