Monitoring on dioxin and dioxin like PCB’s in fats and oils

12 January 2016

In the GMP+ FSA standards specific monitoring requirements have been laid down to analyse on dioxin and dioxin like PCB’s in fats and oils. These requirements are based on EU legislation. Regularly, we receive questions about the application and interpretation of these requirements. In this memo we will address a few topics related to this item.

Where can I find these monitoring requirements?

The specific monitoring requirements for fats and oils  are laid down GMP+ BA4 ‘Minimum Requirements for Sampling and Analysis, chapter 2.2.

Which products are concerned?

Monitoring is required for dioxin and dioxin like PCB’s in  many fat and oil products, intended to be used in feed. For example fat products,  originating from the processing of the oil seeds and the refining of the crude oil. But also fat and oil products, derived from animal fat processing or fat blending processes.

Who must apply?

As explained in the Introduction, these monitoring requirements for fats and oils are derived from EU legislation. But by copying them into the Appendix GMP+ BA4, these requirements apply to all relevant producers, processors or traders (including importers), participating in the GMP+ FC scheme anywhere in the world.

So, not only GMP+ certified companies located in Europe, or companies exporting fats and oils products to Europe, must apply this monitoring. Any company in the world, producing, processing or trading fat and oil products under GMP+ certification, must comply with this monitoring requirement. Controlling the levels of dioxin and dioxin like PCB’s, including the monitoring, is considered to be an important  safety item globally, and therefore part of the GMP+ FC scheme.

Monitoring frequency is related to risk

The different types of fat and oil products are specified in a few tables in chapter 2.2 of GMP+ BA4. Each fat or oil product is classified into one of four classes where minimum monitoring frequency is specified.

Class 1: The high risk products are classified in this category, meaning that they are forbidden to use in feed.
Examples are : tankbottoms, deodestillates from the chemical refinery and fat products derived from the cleaning of ships, vessels and tanks.
For a full list of forbidden fats and oil products also refer to <<GMP+ BA3 ‘Minimum Requirements Negative List’>>.

Class 2: Covers fat and oil products where the presence of dioxins or dioxin like PCB’s is possible. These products can only be used in feed after a positive release. Sampling and analysis must be done per max 1000 tons.  Examples are fatty acid distillates, soap stocks or acid oils

Class 3: The presence of dioxin and dioxin like PCB’s is highly unlikely in these products. A lot of different types of land animal fats are classified in this category. A monitoring per 2000 tons is required. So when the annual production is 20000 tons, 10 samples must be analyzed during the year.

Class 4: The fats and oils classified in this class are considered quite safe. Think of refined oils or fats, but also a lot of crude oils belong to this class.
A minimum monitoring frequency has not been determined. Here every company has the responsibility to define an adequate monitoring based on application of the HACCP principles. Of course, the company must be able to explain his monitoring plan to the auditor.

Future changes

Due to new EU regulation EC no. 2015/1905 the abovementioned classification of a some oil and fat products will change in the tables in GMP+ BA4. GMP+ International will publish new tables as soon as possible.

Please keep in mind that it remains the responsibility of the company who places these fat or oil products on the market to investigate if there are other risks, which need control and monitoring.

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