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The regulation implementing the law “Disposizioni per la lavorazione, la trasformazione e il confezionamento dei prodotti agricoli di esclusiva provenienza aziendale” (“Legal provisions for the processing and packaging of agricultural products of exclusive corporate origin”) – signed by the Regional Council in May 2018 – is now ready.
The regulation approved by the Tuscan regional council aims to adopt flexible criteria in the application of the national and community legislation relating to food production hygiene in the structures contemplated by the law, so as to allow processing and packaging activities – including those carried out in rural and domestic contexts – closely linked to the production of agricultural products. All this, while guaranteeing the achievement of the objectives of the law, first and foremost protecting the health of the consumers and respecting the environment.
Allowing the processing activities to be carried out in the same places where the food products are produced, including in domestic environments, is a way to support and help agricultural enterprises, as well as contributing to the maintenance and care of marginal areas. Above all, this preserves traditional local production, which would be otherwise destined to disappear.
The regulation adopts the criterion according to which it’s possible to operate in certain environments, even when these environments are not necessarily ideal from a structural and plant engineering point of view. However, this requires that all correct manufacturing practices are applied, as well as good hygiene standards and all the procedures necessary to avoid contamination.
In short, the regulation introduces the concept according to which food safety is not necessarily linked to the type of building or the technological sophistication of the plants. In regards to certain types of productions, safety can in fact also be guaranteed by the professionalism and experience of the manufacturer in managing the plants, however modest, in the processing and the hygiene standards adopted.
In this respect, the regulation gives indications regarding the cleaning and sanitising of floors, walls, and ceilings; the need for appropriate facilities to maintain adequate product temperature conditions; the presence of health and hygiene requirements in sinks, toilets and changing rooms; the obligation for workers to wear suitable clothing, such as headgear, dressing gowns, aprons.