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Food Hygiene

Rules on hygiene of foodstuffs were adopted in April 2004 by the European Parliament and the Council (Regulation (EC) No 852/2004, 853/2004 and 854/2004). They became applicable on 1 January 2006.

In order to explain to everyone concerned, the approach that has been taken on the hygiene of foodstuffs since 1 January 2006, the Commission published an online magazine FOOD Hygiene & Safety that explains and documents the rules.

The 2004 rules merged, harmonised and simplified detailed and complex hygiene requirements previously contained in a number of Council Directives covering the hygiene of foodstuffs and the production and placing on the market of products of animal origin.

The rules in place since 2006 innovate in making a single, transparent hygiene policy applicable to all food and all food operators right through the food chain ('from farm to fork'), together with effective instruments to manage food safety and any future food crises throughout the food chain.

This Commission report (2009)pdf recounts the experience gained, including the difficulties encountered (in 2006, 2007 and 2008) from the implementation of the hygiene package by all interested actors. It does not suggest any detailed solutions to the difficulties reported and is, therefore, not accompanied by proposals.

The report is accompanied by a Staff Working Documentpdf Choose translations of the previous link  where annexes referred to in the report can be found.

The hygiene rules include flexibility for certain establishments e.g. micro-enterprises explained in the following document:

A Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the future necessity and use of mechanically separated meat in the EU, including the information policy towards consumers, was adopted on 2 December 2010.