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Food and Feed Safety (29-08-2005)

Better training for safer food

“Better Training for Safer Food” is a new initiative of the Commission aimed at organising an EU training strategy in the areas of food law, feed law, animal health and animal welfare rules, as well as plant health rules. The training will be designed for all staff of Member States’ competent authorities who are involved in official control activities. It will also be available to appropriate third country officials, in order to keep them up-to-date on all aspects of EU feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules, and plant health rules. The training is fundamental, with a view to:

  • Ensuring and maintaining a high level of consumer protection, animal health, animal welfare and plant health
  • Promoting a harmonised approach to the operation of EU and national control systems
  • Creating an level playing field for all food businesses
  • Enhancing the trade of safe food
  • Ensuring fair trade with third countries and, in particular, with developing countries

In the next few months, and in 2006, the Commission plans to organise and develop a number of ad hoc training projects aimed at promoting a high level of training in certain areas where specific needs have been identified. These include HACCP, avian influenza and best practice on border veterinary checks, animal by-products and animal welfare in disease control situations.

Third countries, in particular developing countries, will be allowed to participate in Community training activities, while specific training and information sessions will also be organised in these countries. The aim of these targeted sessions will be to provide a detailed overview and explanation of recent development of EU policy and strategy for food safety and to assist them in better coping with Community import requirements. This action will particularly target the main food export sectors in third countries, such as fishery and aquaculture, and fruit and vegetable sectors.

The legal basis for this initiative was laid down in Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules (OJ L 191, 28.04.2005).

In this framework, the Commission has already launched 4 calls for tenders (OJ S 136 of 16/07/2005 and OJ S 137 of 19/07/2005) with the aim of concluding contracts for:

  • Organising training courses on HACCP (basic and audit techniques)Organising training for ASEAN governments on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza disease control
  • Organising training workshops in third countries on EU food standards for fishery and aquaculture products and fruits and vegetables
  • Organising training workshops in EU Member States with the aim of developing best practices on:
    • veterinary checks in airport and seaport border inspection posts;
    • animal by-products;
    • animal welfare concerning stunning and killing animals in slaughterhouses and disease control situations.

      All information and documents concerning these training activities and related calls for tender, including a Questions and Answers document, are available online at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/training/index_en.htm or may be requested by e-mail at the following address: sanco-trainingforsaferfood@cec.eu.int