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FP6

SAFEFOODNET — Result In Brief

Project ID: 513988
Funded under: FP6-FOOD
Country: Italy

Harmonising food safety standards across Europe

More recent nations joining the EU bloc may not have the same food safety standards as Western Europe. A new initiative has helped harmonise standards across the continent.
Harmonising food safety standards across Europe
Western Europe generally enjoys very high food safety and hygiene standards, bolstered by tough local and European regulations. To promote these standards to the rest of the continent, the EU-funded project 'Chemical food safety network for the enlarging Europe' (Safefoodnet) launched a dynamic hygiene network involving young EU countries.

The project specifically focused on bringing New Member States (NMS) and Associated Candidate Countries (ACC) up to par with older European states. It aimed to spread the influence of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to all corners of Europe through a strong web of researchers, institutions and scientists to address chemical contamination. This also enables stakeholders to take part in EU research initiatives such as Harmonized Environmental Indicators for Pesticide Risk (HAIR), Chemicals as Contaminants in the Food Chain (Cascade), and Food Chemical Safety in Europe (FOSIE).

Safefoodnet brought together earlier EU Member States Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Italy with NMS such as Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Poland. It also integrated associated countries Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. The project conducted surveys of tools and systems in all these countries to promote food safety for the general public, outlining data on dietary habits and monitoring of chemical contamination.

The results were then classified by country, outlining strengths, weaknesses and training needs and mapping steps for the future. These surveys also provided a basis for guidelines on chemical food safety management in target countries. This was followed by workshops with local authorities and stakeholders to further the project's goals, giving food safety in Europe an important boost and strengthening the health of its citizens.

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