Good things come to those who wait. And, I would add, to those who persevere.
The last 6.5 years of information gathering by placenta service providers for discussion and deliberation by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on where products containing human placenta sit within Food Law and its governing bodies pays testament to this.
The FSA issued a statement on 4th December 2020 confirming that:
Human placenta is legally classified as a ‘food’ but not a ‘novel food’, due to its extensive history of personal consumption.
Service providers making remedies for new parents using their placenta are classified as a ‘Food Business Operator’ (FBO) and need to be registered as such with their local authority.
Rigorously tested safety procedures need to be documented in a robust Food Safety Management System for registration and inspection.
All processes, products and documentation need to be inspected for safety and hygiene and if satisfactory, a Food Hygiene Rating will be awarded.
At times it did look almost impossible, but every challenge and objection thrown our way was overcome, generally through many, many hours of research and documenting.
This is a huge step forward for placenta processing businesses and for parents wishing to consume their placenta.
Placenta service providers will now be regulated, meaning clients will be able to identify a safe business to support them.
As a service provider, what this means is
- Your business is legitimate and regulated.
- Your processes and products are demonstrably safe and hygienic.
- Your reporting and documentation is in place.
- Your clients can trust you.
As a consumer, what this means is
- You can check that your service provider is legitimate and registered as a food business.
- You can check their Food Hygiene Rating.
- You can trust your service provider.
Service providers listed on PRN have all trained with accredited training providers, with completion certificates displayed on their profiles. Members will be registered as a food business with their local authority and their food hygiene rating will be displayed also.
What this means for clients browsing PRN service providers is that they have all the information they need to make an informed choice, safe in the knowledge that whoever they choose will have certified safety and hygiene standards.
To follow is the full statement from the FSA, released 4th December 2020:
The FSA has reached the following determinations in relation to the consumption of human placenta and placenta products:
Placenta is considered as a ‘food’ in line with the definition as provided in Article 2 Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002
1. Placenta is not considered to be a ‘Product of Animal Origin’. This takes account of current legal definitions, other aspects of food law and our position in relation to products of similar origin such as human breast milk.
2. Having thoroughly reviewed the required conditions for Novel Food Status, the FSA does not consider raw placenta or placenta products to be ‘Novel Foods’. Although evidence of significant History of Consumption before 15 May 1997 may not specifically be available, it is likely that unquantifiable personal consumption of placenta has been occurring in the EU for many years. We do not believe that any of the ten categories as detailed in Article 3(2)(a) of Regulation (EU) 2015/2283, relate to raw placenta or placenta products.
3. As placenta is considered a food, placenta processing businesses are food business operators (FBOs) and should be considered for registration.
4. As an FBO, a placenta processing businesses is required to ensure that they produce safe and hygienic foods, and to be able to demonstrate the safety and hygiene of their processes and products, to the satisfaction of their competent authority through the application of a Food Safety Management System based on the HACCP principles.
5. Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) – this type of FBO should be included unless the Competent Authority determines that they fall into an exemption.
This FSA advice is based upon the current information regarding practices being employed by small businesses providing services directly to mothers who wish to consume their own placenta or products made from it.