Our Food Is Safe: The Contribution of the Industry and the Role of FoodDrinkEurope

20 December 2017

By Eoin Keane, Manager, Food Policy, Science and R&D and Beate Kettlitz, Director of Food Policy, Science and R&D at FoodDrinkEurope

Europe has the safest food in the world. This is the result of extensive procedures in place to ensure all products on the market meet the highest standards, most recent certification schemes and, above all, the latest legal requirements. As the Chair of the European Parliament ENVI Committee, Adina V─âlean, stated in her recent article on food safety, “the EU’s food policy is built around the promotion of high food safety standards which protect and promote consumers’ health”.

Furthermore, it must be recognised that the European Union has extensive legislation in place that is aimed at protecting the health of the consumer and verifying the safety of our food. Europe’s food and drink industry is committed to this legislation, and FoodDrinkEurope and its members have made it their number one priority to ensure food and drink products comply with these food safety standards, based on sound science, all along the food supply chain. In fact, the core long-standing practice of traceability – now enshrined in the General Food Law– allows us to have full confidence in our food from farm to fork.

Central to the best practice of every food business operator – from established multinationals to small-and-medium sized enterprises – is the HAACP[1] system, a set of procedures designed to control biological, chemical and physical hazards and to guarantee the safety of the final product. FoodDrinkEurope’s members are constantly reviewing their HAACP systems in order to incorporate the latest scientific developments.

Moreover, FoodDrinkEurope actively participates in Codex Alimentarius[2] which sets standards globally, and allows us to enjoy similar confidence in our imports from third countries.

At European level, FoodDrinkEurope is also currently participating in the REFIT[3] exercise to appropriately amend the General Food Law, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary.

Europe’s food and drink manufacturers will continue to engage with all stakeholders to maintain and where possible improve food safety standards, and encourage all others to do the same.

Safety is a prerequisite for putting food on the market and paramount to the industry. The production, marketing and consumption of safe food are non-negotiable requirements that all partners along the food chain must adhere to, regardless of their place, for the benefit of industry and consumers alike.

About FoodDrinkEurope
FoodDrinkEurope is the organization of Europe’s food and drink industry, the largest manufacturing sector and leading employer in the EU and a key contributor to its economy (289 000 companies, 99% SMEs, 4.2 million employees)

[1] HAACP: Hazard analysis and critical control points or HACCP is a systematic preventive approach to food safety from biological, chemical, and physical hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe, and designs measurements to reduce these risks to a safe level.

[2] Codex Alimentarius: The Codex Alimentarius is a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and other recommendations relating to foods, food production, and food safety.

[3] REFIT: The European Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) programme ensures that EU legislation delivers results for citizens and businesses effectively, efficiently and at minimum cost. REFIT aims to keep EU law simple, remove unnecessary burdens and adapt existing legislation without compromising on policy objectives.