The State Service for Food Safety of the Ministry Agriculture of RA (hereinafter referred as the Service) continues having meetings with business operators from different sectors. The purpose of the meetings is to discuss current situation and challenges aimed at ensuring food safety.

On the 24th of November the business operators engaged in the meat production were invited to the Service.

Mr. Ishkhan Karapetyan, the Head of the Service highlighted that meat and meat products are in the high risk category and spoke about the main gaps and possible violations in that category. Mr. Karapetyan emphasized that sanctions will be applied for all dishonest business operators. He particularly said, “We are ready to provide you with specialists and advice to identify gaps in the production chain.”

He suggested to business operators to use the opportunity and speak out about obstacles and issues that hinder from having desired quality in the meat production sphere. Mr. Karapetyan expressed hope that joint cooperation between business operators and authorized body will facilitate to ensure safe food with high quality, which is currently a priority issue.

Vahe Danielyan, the Head of the Food Safety and Quality Control Inspection of the Service presented all the requirements, including EEU requirements as well. He pointed out the requirements for the storage of raw materials, food additives used in the production process, hygiene, labeling and means of transportation. In the meantime, Mr. Danielyan mentioned that the guidelines for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system in the meat production sphere were developed by the Service to assist the business operators. He highlighted the need to establish private laboratories by the business operators otherwise to sign contract with the accredited laboratories. To ensure required conditions for the transportation was mentioned as well.

At the end of the meeting Mr. Karapetyan informed that currently monitoring and inspection are carried out in 60 business entities including 8 meat production facilities (“Marila”, ‘’Natfood“, “Mush”, “Bekon product”, “Atenk”, “Bari Samaratsi”,  “Babik-90” and “Natali farm”). Changes are intended to be implemented in the field. Animal slaughter will be implemented only in the slaughterhouses according to the Decision of the Government, which will reduce the existing risks.

          The meat producers have been given time to comply the production procedures with the defined norms.