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Official Controls - Introduction

In the White Paper on Food Safety es da de el fr it nl pt fi sv pdf of 12 January 2000 the European Commission announced a series of initiatives to improve and complete the legislation on food and feed controls. In this regard, Regulation (CE) N° 882/2004 pdf on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 29 April 2004.

The key elements of the Regulation, which became applicable on 1 January 2006, are:

  • To ensure that official controls on feed and food are carried out regularly, on a risk basis and with appropriate frequency;

  • To establish a clear EU framework for a control system systematically setting out the rules to be respected with the aim of greater harmonisation and the integration of controls across the entire food and feed chain under the “farm to fork” principle;

  • Competent authority may delegate specific tasks to official control bodies

  • To provide regular training for competent authority staff,

  • To establish appropriate control methods and techniques such as monitoring, surveillance, verification, audit, inspection, sampling and analysis (in compliance with relevant Community rules, or with internationally recognised rules or protocols;.

  • To improve efficiency of the Commission’s inspection services by way of a more transparent, strategic and integrated approach;

  • To establish a community and national reference laboratories network;

  • The requirement that the competent authorities prepare of a single integrated multi-annual national control plan to ensure the effective implementation of the Regulation;

  • To organise and develop a Community food safety training strategy “Better Training for Safer Food” to ensure a more harmonised approach.

On 8 July 2009 the Commission published a report to the European Parliament and Council on the state of implementation of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 as required by its Article 65. (COM/2009/334/Final).

The following Guidance documents are also available: