Any company producing, handling, storing, transporting, and marketing food of animal origin must operate not only in line with EC Regulation No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs in general but also in line with EC Regulation No 853/2004 focusing on animal matrices.
After checking the compliance to the aforementioned regulations, the Competent Authorities assign a unique identification code (EC health mark) to the company consisting of country code, regional code, approval number of the establishment, and EU code. These data must appear on all the documents accompanying the product for traceability purposes.
The EC health mark is important because the food of animal origin is the food that requires the greatest attention as regards food safety and hygiene.
That is therefore a real Health Authorisation granting free movement of food between EU countries. In Italy, it allows to sell products to third parties in areas outside the province where the establishment is located.
When it obtains the EC health mark, a company is included in the dedicated lists of the European Union. The website of the Italian Ministry of Health shows the list of the establishments approved in Italy, in line with EC Regulation No 853/2004.
The EC health mark must be applied for in the following cases:
- First approval, when the authorisation for a new establishment is necessary
- Authorisation change in case of change in the stages of the production process of the already-approved establishment
- Authorisation change in case of structural and system change in the already-approved establishment
- Authorisation change in case of change of company name
All the establishments in which the ingredients of animal origin are higher than 40% of the total of the recipes must apply.
The following categories are excluded:
- The retail industry with points of sale selling directly to consumers
- The wholesale companies carrying out transport/storage operations (excluding unpackaged food which needs to meet cold chain requirements)
- The operators producing ice cream (except for raw milk ice cream) and honey
- The farms with laboratories processing their products for the direct sale to the consumer
- The hunters providing low quantities of game directly to the final consumer or local commercial laboratories supplying the final consumer
White Lab's team of consultants can fully support the customer to manage and self-monitor authorised facilities with EC health mark.
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