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Food and Feed Safety (05-09-2011)

Commission report highlights importance of flexibility when applying food hygiene legislation

Member States should introduce flexibility provisions more widely when applying food hygiene legislation and encourage their implementation, a European Commission report recommends. The report is the outcome of a mission series carried out in six Member States (DE, UK, ES, AT, FI, CZ) between November 2009 and March 2010.

Experts from the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO), the European Commission's inspection service, found that the flexibility provisions -which are provided in relation to structures, layout and equipment for food businesses, operational practices and controls- are not widely used in Member States and this has negative consequences on food businesses. The flexibility provisions can help food businesses, in particular small-scale producers, to comply with food hygiene legislation without compromising food safety. This, in turn, helps promote more innovation in the food sector and supports local and traditional food products.

The FVO missions focussed on small establishments as competent authorities and interested parties had highlighted that the implementation of the Hygiene Regulations (Regulations (EC) No 852/2004, No 853/2004 and No 854/2004) was particularly demanding for such businesses.


To read the report, please visit: