Supervision fails: The supervision of control authorities of spice growers is insufficient. There is a failure to ensure producers are implementing Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) or Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). There are no clear food hygiene rules laid down for food companies, including spice processors and it is not obligatory to implement Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). The level of HACCP implementation in companies processing spices for export to the EU is very low, Spice processors or traders exporting their produce are not subject to any food hygiene control - and therefore there is no official body to ensure they comply with EU requirements.
Analytical results not enough
Legal requirements relating to aflatoxin controls cover only four of the six spices for export included under EC Regulation 669/2009. Chilli, chilli products, mace and nutmeg are covered while turmeric and ginger are not. After examining official laboratory procedures, the inspectors found the analytical reports issued by the two accredited facilities did not follow EC requirements. There were also "insufficient quality control measures" in both, as well as a lack of use of reference materials and incomplete validation study. Such shortcomings "could compromise the reliability of the analytical results", and lead to Indian spice shipments turned away at EU border checks.
Maria Jose Rios