Materials and objects in contact with foods" (MOCA/FCM) are materials and objects destined to come into contact with foods (kitchen tools and table flatware and containers, machinery for the transformation of foods, packaging materials, etc.). These terms are also used to indicate the materials and objects that come into contact with water, with the exclusion of fixed public or private water supply systems
The obligation of the MOCA declaration was established by the Italian Ministerial Decree n. 6 dated 21 March 1973 “Disciplina igienica degli imballaggi, recipienti, utensili, destinati a venire in contatto con le sostanze alimentari o con sostanze d’uso personale”, or “Hygiene regulations for packaging, containers, tools destined to come into contact with food stuffs or substances for personal hygiene”.
Always in Italy, the Lgs. Decree 29/2017 governs the sanctions for the violations of provisions imposed by the regulations concerning materials and objects destined to come into contact with food products and foods. All companies to which the MOCA/FCM legislation applies must be registered with the SUAP (Sportello Unico Attività Produttive, or Unified Office for Production Activities) of their relative City and conform with European regulations.
Many objects and materials come into contact with people and foods on a daily basis, like:
Each of these materials may constitute a source of contamination, due to the micro-organisms present on their surface or undesired substances released onto the food during contact.
Those subject to the issuing of the Conformity Declaration are:
The responsibility of preparing the conformity declaration is the so-called “Economic operator” defined by Regulation 1935/2004/EC as “the person or entity responsible for guaranteeing compliance with the provisions of the regulations themselves in the business in question”.
In any case there is not just one Declaration for the various subjects involved in the materials and packaging destined to come into contact with food substances production supply chain, in that there is an actual “chain” of Declarations.
Beginning with the initial producer of raw materials to the final distributor, each issues their own conformity declaration to the economic subject downstream and holds the one received from the economic subject upstream. Even simple retailers who enter the supply chain must receive the Declaration and issue one to their own client.
Traceability is an important concept, defined as “the possibility to reconstruct and follow the path of materials and objects through all their manufacturing, transformation, and distribution phases” (Regulation 1935/2004/EC Art.2).
The Regulation, at Article 17, claims that the traceability of the materials and objects must be guaranteed during all the phases in order to facilitate the control, the recall of defective products, the information provided to the consumers and the attribution of liability.
Economic operators must therefore be equipped with procedure and management systems that enable them to identify the companies materials and objects were supplied from and to and, if necessary, the substances and products used in their processing. This information is made available to the competent authorities if they should request them (locally competent Health Protection Agencies).
The possibility to reconstruct and follow the path of materials or objects through all the phases of processing, transformation, and distribution (Reg. 1935/2004/EC Art.2)
Before the Decree 29/2017, the food product and packaging sector (MOCA/FCM) was subject to disciplinary sanctions that made reference only to national legislation. Now, instead, specific sanctions for the obligations established by community regulations are being introduced. These sanctions range from a minimum of €1,500 up to a value of €60,000 or €80.000 (sale of substances that are hazardous for human health).
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