Food safety: a constant challenge


RDC 331/2019 and IN 60/2019: New challenges for producers and safety for consumers

Highly important for public health, food safety has always been a relevant topic in scientific and industrial committees. In addition, reported outbreaks such as African Swine Fever (PSA) and even the second wave of the Covid-19 disease revealed a more significant concern about the vulnerability of production processes to the contamination that affects not only animals but mainly consumers.

Brazilian production, in turn, despite last year’s crisis, managed to supply demand and intensified its production in this period. This certifies the efficiency of factors related to agribusiness and product biosecurity. However, statistical data from the “Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios”, or “National Household Sample Survey” in English (PNAD/IBGE) point to the pandemic’s socioeconomic impacts, which affected consumers’ life quality, access to work, and income. Therefore, it became another challenge for producers and industries that need to feed the world and, at the same time, maintain the quality and safety of food at a good cost/benefit.

New legislation is implemented or updated every year to improve the food chain processes, from the welfare and health of animals to the final quality of the product, considering the sustainability of the environment and biosecurity.

Applied in the food industry, the RDC 331/2019 and IN 60/2019 regulations, from MAPA (Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply), came into force in December 2020 and aim to increase food safety to ensure the health of consumers according to microbiological standards of the production chain.


How do RDC 331/2019 and IN 60/2019 impact the production chain?

The already known RDC 331/2019 regulation covers the entire food production chain, addressing the microbiological standards of food and its applications, from production to commercialization – or any other stage that is part of the food chain. IN 60/2019, which complements RDC 331/2019, establishes the new microbiological standards for foods ready to be offered to the consumer. In general, RDC 331/2019 determines that foods must not contain pathogenic microorganisms, toxins, or metabolites in concentrations harmful to health. Thus, regulations have been changed to meet national and international health needs.

Among the changes imposed by RDC 331/2019, we highlight the increase in the number of analyses of some products to generate more data for making more assertive decisions. Another change is related to the serotypes of bacteria included and to the microbiological limit concentration. An example is the inclusion of serotypes important for public health in the analysis to detect Salmonella in meat products, such as S. enteritidis and S. typhymurium – both associated with food poisoning cases. In addition to these, the replacement of coliform detection at 45 °C by E. coli is frequently related to Foodborne Diseases (DTAs). Between 2006 and 2016, this was one of the most recorded etiological agents in the outbreaks of DTAs in Brazil.

These changes have made production processes stricter and are a concern for producers, who must adapt to the new regulations that emerge every year and, at the same time, need to analyze the cost/benefit of their production.


What is the importance of regulations for public health?

Health and nutrition are essential factors that influence the control of pathogens directly.

The entire food production chain follows a series of manufacturing, hygiene, and quality procedures, which are part of legislations and regulations aimed at consumer safety. These updates are held from time to time to make processes even stricter and follow an irreversible, global trend.

Quality control is monitored through periodical analyses that ensure not only the final product, but also provide subsidies to the improvement and maintenance of food processes. In turn, microbiological standards are related to food quality and provide information on microorganisms and their amounts present in the food. By definition, a microbiological standard is a criterion that defines the acceptability of a food batch or process based on the absence, presence or concentration of microorganisms, their toxins, and metabolites.

The reduction in contamination by pathogenic microorganisms must be monitored from the field to the final product since production animals face several challenges and contact pathogens daily. In egg-laying, the reduction of colonization in the ovaries and ceca of commercial laying hens can be a key factor in food safety, consequently decreasing fecal contamination on eggs’ surface. After laying, cooling begins, and bacteria on the egg surface penetrate through the shell’s pores, i.e., the less contamination of the surface with Salmonella, for example, the less contamination inside the egg. Preventing the multiplication of pathogens in broilers, swine, or beef cattle reduces carcass contamination in slaughterhouses, as the organs can break in the evisceration process.



In an effort to contribute to food safety, ICC Brazil has innovative solutions on the market, adding value to the animal production chain through yeast-based products that help to prevent and control the colonization of pathogenic bacteria, stimulating the animals’ immune system, improving intestinal health, and reducing contamination of eggs and meat. Since they are entirely natural, additives promote food safety and also have an excellent cost/benefit ratio, favoring the producer’s profitability and quality to the final consumer. Among the solutions available, we highlight the ImmunoWall®, composed of a thick Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cell wall and high concentrations of β-glucans and MOS, that act by modulating the immune response of animals and stimulate the innate immune system, thus increasing resistance to opportunistic infections.


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Posted in 26 February of 2021