This report describes the outcome of an audit carried out in Cyprus from 29 January to 7 February 2019, as part of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and
Food Safety planned work programme.
The objective of the audit was to evaluate:
a) the implementation of national measures aimed at the control of residues and contaminants in live animals and animal products, in accordance with Council Directive 96/23/EC;
b) the contribution of controls on the distribution and use of veterinary medicinal products and medicated feedingstuffs in ensuring that residues of such substances which may be present in foodstuffs of animal origin comply with maximum residue limits, and;
c) the implementation and effectiveness of corrective actions taken following a previous audit on the same subject.
It is concluded that the residue monitoring plan and its implementation are in line with EU requirements, with opportunities for improvement in some areas, i.e.:
lack of counter sample to allow operators to seek a second expert opinion in case of non-compliance detected;
delay in the follow-up and lack of involvement of the relevant services in cases where feed could be the origin of the presence of the residue;
poor enforcement, e.g. in the detention of animals and products following a noncompliant
result and classification of carcasses with non-compliant results.
The designated National Reference Laboratories largely fulfil their duties. Whilst a few methods are not validated/verified for certain matrix/substance combinations, the quality controls in place and frequent and satisfactory participation in proficiency tests contribute to the reliability of results generated by the laboratory network.
Similar to the situation described in the previous residues audit in 2014, the competent
authority has failed to:
enforce food business operators' obligations to properly record the use of veterinary
medicinal products in food-producing animals. This failure increases the risk that animal products are erroneously placed on the market and, in the event of a residue violation being detected, reduces the likelihood of follow-up investigations identifying the reason for the violation;
put in place a reliable system to provide food chain information at the slaughterhouses, and establish a reliable system of issuing veterinary prescriptions.
The report contains recommendations to the Cypriot competent authorities, aimed at rectifying the shortcomings identified and enhancing the implementation of control
measures in place.