EFPRA is reassuring users and importers of processed animal proteins (PAPs) and animal fats that these materials pose no risk from African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV).
ASFV is now present in Europe, consequently, enterprises in third countries may have concerns about the safety of PAPs and animal fats. However, there is no risk of transmission of ASFV because of the legal safety rules regarding animal by-products within the EU.
Safety of EU rendered products is based on safe sourcing and safe processing. Before any pigs are slaughtered for food production purposes, the animals are inspected by a qualified veterinarian (ante-mortem veterinary inspection). Only healthy pigs are approved for slaughter.
The pigs can only come from farms that have no restrictions for slaughtering pigs in relation to notifiable diseases. Animal by-products exclusively from these healthy pigs slaughtered for human consumption are used to generate feed grade animal fats and proteins via safe rendering processes.
Safe Processing (Rendering):
All processing is carried out in accordance with Annex IV of EC Regulation No 142/2011. In total, there are 6 approved methods for processing porcine animal by-products. 5 of these methods stipulate temperatures in excess of 100°C for more than 16 minutes. This is more than sufficient to eliminate ASFV. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) have published the following recommendations for inactivating ASFV:
OIE: 60 °C / 20 min
BfR: 70 °C / 2 m
The other method does not specify a fixed time / temperature but relies on a validated proof of efficacy over a certain time period of 30 production days. During that time microbiological standards have to be guaranteed. One is the absence of Clostridium perfringens in 1g of product in a sample of material taken directly after the treatment.
Clostridium perfringens is a good key indicator as it is ubiquitous and thermal resistant. Its killing time / temperature requirement is very rigid: for instance to receive a reduction by 4 log a treatment at 100 °C for 9 minutes is necessary. The conditions needed to eliminate ASFV are less intense than those required to eliminate Clostridium perfringens therefore ASFV will be controlled in all processed that eliminate Clostridium perfringens.