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      Scientific Opinion on the public health hazards to be covered by inspection of meat from sheep and goats : Meat inspection of sheep and goats

      EFSA Journal

      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Abstract

          Abstract A risk ranking process identified Toxoplasma gondii and pathogenic verocytotoxin‐producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) as the most relevant biological hazards for meat inspection of sheep and goats. As these are not detected by traditional meat inspection, a meat safety assurance system using risk‐based interventions was proposed. Further studies are required on T. gondii and pathogenic VTEC. If new information confirms these hazards as a high risk to public health from meat from sheep or goats, setting targets at carcass level should be considered. Other elements of the system are risk‐categorisation of flocks/herds based on improved Food Chain Information (FCI), classification of abattoirs according to their capability to reduce faecal contamination, and use of improved process hygiene criteria. It is proposed to omit palpation and incision from post‐mortem inspection in animals subjected to routine slaughter. For chemical hazards, dioxins and dioxin‐like polychlorinated biphenyls were ranked as being of high potential concern. Monitoring programmes for chemical hazards should be more flexible and based on the risk of occurrence, taking into account FCI, which should be expanded to reflect the extensive production systems used, and the ranking of chemical substances, which should be regularly updated and include new hazards. Control programmes across the food chain, national residue control plans, feed control and monitoring of environmental contaminants should be better integrated. Meat inspection is a valuable tool for surveillance and monitoring of animal health and welfare conditions. Omission of palpation and incision would reduce detection effectiveness for tuberculosis and fasciolosis at animal level. Surveillance of tuberculosis at the slaughterhouse in small ruminants should be improved and encouraged, as this is in practice the only surveillance system available. Extended use of FCI could compensate for some, but not all, the information on animal health and welfare lost if only visual post‐mortem inspection is applied.

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          The 2005 World Health Organization reevaluation of human and Mammalian toxic equivalency factors for dioxins and dioxin-like compounds.

          In June 2005, a World Health Organization (WHO)-International Programme on Chemical Safety expert meeting was held in Geneva during which the toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) for dioxin-like compounds, including some polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were reevaluated. For this reevaluation process, the refined TEF database recently published by Haws et al. (2006, Toxicol. Sci. 89, 4-30) was used as a starting point. Decisions about a TEF value were made based on a combination of unweighted relative effect potency (REP) distributions from this database, expert judgment, and point estimates. Previous TEFs were assigned in increments of 0.01, 0.05, 0.1, etc., but for this reevaluation, it was decided to use half order of magnitude increments on a logarithmic scale of 0.03, 0.1, 0.3, etc. Changes were decided by the expert panel for 2,3,4,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (PeCDF) (TEF = 0.3), 1,2,3,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (PeCDF) (TEF = 0.03), octachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and octachlorodibenzofuran (TEFs = 0.0003), 3,4,4',5-tetrachlorbiphenyl (PCB 81) (TEF = 0.0003), 3,3',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 169) (TEF = 0.03), and a single TEF value (0.00003) for all relevant mono-ortho-substituted PCBs. Additivity, an important prerequisite of the TEF concept was again confirmed by results from recent in vivo mixture studies. Some experimental evidence shows that non-dioxin-like aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonists/antagonists are able to impact the overall toxic potency of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and related compounds, and this needs to be investigated further. Certain individual and groups of compounds were identified for possible future inclusion in the TEF concept, including 3,4,4'-TCB (PCB 37), polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans, mixed polyhalogenated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans, polyhalogenated naphthalenes, and polybrominated biphenyls. Concern was expressed about direct application of the TEF/total toxic equivalency (TEQ) approach to abiotic matrices, such as soil, sediment, etc., for direct application in human risk assessment. This is problematic as the present TEF scheme and TEQ methodology are primarily intended for estimating exposure and risks via oral ingestion (e.g., by dietary intake). A number of future approaches to determine alternative or additional TEFs were also identified. These included the use of a probabilistic methodology to determine TEFs that better describe the associated levels of uncertainty and "systemic" TEFs for blood and adipose tissue and TEQ for body burden.
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            Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever

            Summary Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is an often fatal viral infection described in about 30 countries, and it has the most extensive geographic distribution of the medically important tickborne viral diseases, closely approximating the known global distribution of Hyalomma spp ticks. Human beings become infected through tick bites, by crushing infected ticks, after contact with a patient with CCHF during the acute phase of infection, or by contact with blood or tissues from viraemic livestock. Clinical features commonly show a dramatic progression characterised by haemorrhage, myalgia, and fever. The levels of liver enzymes, creatinine phosphokinase, and lactate dehydrogenase are raised, and bleeding markers are prolonged. Infection of the endothelium has a major pathogenic role. Besides direct infection of the endothelium, indirect damage by viral factors or virus-mediated host-derived soluble factors that cause endothelial activations and dysfunction are thought to occur. In diagnosis, enzyme-linked immunoassay and real-time reverse transcriptase PCR are used. Early diagnosis is critical for patient therapy and prevention of potential nosocomial infections. Supportive therapy is the most essential part of case management. Recent studies suggest that ribavirin is effective against CCHF, although definitive studies are not available. Health-care workers have a serious risk of infection, particularly during care of patients with haemorrhages from the nose, mouth, gums, vagina, and injection sites. Simple barrier precautions have been reported to be effective.
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              Scientific Opinion on the risk for public health related to the presence of mercury and methylmercury in food

              (2012)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                EFSA Journal
                EFSA Journal
                Wiley-Blackwell
                18314732
                June 2013
                June 2013
                : 11
                : 6
                : 3265
                Article
                10.2903/j.efsa.2013.3265
                © 2013
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