The Finnish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sirkka-Liisa Anttila is considering measures to upgrade Salmonella enforcement and legislation on animal feed in the light of the recent outbreak of salmonella originating from the Raisio Feed plant, according to Helsingin Sanomat.
The law on animal feed could be amended so that all soybean products imported for use in chicken and pig feed should be processed in such a way that they are clean of salmonella already before getting into production. Much of the soybean used as a source of protein in the feed is contaminated by salmonella. Even if the factory area is thoroughly cleaned, salmonella is difficult to eradiacte.
Finland is classified as a salmonella-free area in the European Union, and the recent outbreak does not change this, says Maria Teirikko of the Finnish Food Safety Authority (EVIRA). Teirikko stated that there have been no breaches of safety regulations at Raisio Feed that officials would need to react to.
Salmonella spread to a number of chicken and pig farms by the use of infected feed. So far, the salmonella infection has been detected in 31 egg farms and ten pork farms. The contamination led to slaughterings at the infected farms, and the facilities themselves are being disinfected.
2% of Finnish feed
The infected feed was manufactured on production line seven at Raisio Feed, which produces about 2% of all feed used in Finland. Matti Aho, a senior official at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, says that salmonella is eliminated if the feed is heated sufficiently during production. At the Raisio plant, the temperature was probably not raised high enough.
Raisio CEO Matti Rihko says that the constant pressure caused by the risk of salmonella applies to the entire animal feed industry. “We perform twice as many salmonella tests as are required.”
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