Official Journal of the European Union

L 43/63


of 14 February 2020

amending Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 as regards Salmonella in reptile meat

(Text with EEA relevance)


Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Having regard to Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs (1), and in particular Article 4(4) thereof,



Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 (2) lays down the microbiological criteria for certain micro-organisms and the implementing rules to be complied with by food business operators in respect of the general and specific hygiene requirements referred to in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004.


In particular, Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 lays down food safety criteria which define the acceptability of a product or a batch of foodstuff applicable to products placed in the market. That Regulation does not provide for food safety criteria for reptile meat.


The ‘European Union summary report on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and food-borne outbreaks in 2016’ (3) published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control states that human salmonellosis is the second most reported human food-borne illness in the Union with around 95 000 cases reported annually.


In 2007, EFSA adopted a scientific opinion on public health risks involved in the human consumption of reptile meat (4) according to which reptiles are well-known reservoirs for Salmonella species. The scientific opinion reviews farming practices and observes a documented high intestinal carrier rate in live crocodilians that is reflected in an equally high contamination rate in their fresh and frozen meat. The scientific opinion concludes that Salmonella is considered to be the most relevant bacterial hazard that may occur in reptile meat and it constitutes a significant public health risk.


Production of reptile meat in the Union is limited, but according to data available in Eurostat’s reference database for detailed statistics on international trade in goods (Comext) (5), imports from third countries of fresh, chilled or frozen meat and edible offal of reptiles have shown an upward trend over the last 10 years with an increase of over 50 % in the quantity imported during the period 2007-2017 and an average yearly import in the Union of nearly 100 tons.


Considering the potential significant health risk posed by the possible presence of Salmonella in reptile meat, a food safety criterion should be laid down in Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 for reptile meat. This food safety criterion should oblige food business operators to take measures at previous stages of reptile meat production contributing to the reduction of the presence of all serotypes of Salmonella with public health significance.


The international standard EN/ISO 6579-1 is the horizontal method for the detection of Salmonella in food and animal feeding stuffs. Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 provides for that standard to be the analytical reference method for Salmonella food safety criteria. It should, therefore, be laid down as the analytical reference method to verify the compliance of a Salmonella in reptile meat food safety criterion.


Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 should therefore be amended accordingly.


The measures provided for in this Regulation are in accordance with the opinion of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed,


Article 1

Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 is amended as follows:


in Article 2, the following point (q) is added:


“reptile meat” means reptile meat as laid down in point (16) of Article 2 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/625 (*1).

(*1)  Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/625 of 4 March 2019 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to requirements for the entry into the Union of consignments of certain animals and goods intended for human consumption (OJ L 131, 17.5.2019, p. 18).’;"


Annex I is amended in accordance with the Annex to this Regulation.

Article 2

This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Brussels, 14 February 2020.

For the Commission

The President


(1)   OJ L 139, 30.4.2004, p. 1.

(2)  Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 of 15 November 2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs (OJ L 338, 22.12.2005, p. 1).

(3)   EFSA Journal 2017;15(12):5077.

(4)   EFSA Journal (2007) 578, 1-55.

(5)  Combined nomenclature codes 0208 50 00 and 0210 93 00 as defined in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1925 amending Annex I to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff (OJ L 282, 31.10.2017, p. 1).


Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 is amended as follows:


in Chapter 1, the following row 1.30 is added:

Food category

Micro-organisms/their toxins, metabolites

Sampling plan


Analytical reference method

Stage where the criterion applies





‘1.30 Reptile meat




Not detected in 25 g

EN ISO 6579-1

Products placed on the market during their shelf-life’


in Chapter 1, footnote 2 is replaced by the following:


For points 1.1-1.24, 1.27a, 1.28-1.30 m = M.’