Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : The impact of consumer practices in food safety: risks and mitigation strategies

Topic identifier: SFS-37-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
27 October 2015
2nd stage Deadline:
17 February 2016 17:00:00
13 September 2016 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Food safety policy is constantly reviewed in the light of new scientific evidence. There have been significant advances in consumer protection brought about by food safety legislation in the farm-to-retail part of the food chain. Examples include controlling the occurrence of certain food-borne pathogens at farm and retail level using microbiological targets and criteria, or of contaminants and other harmful chemicals by setting maximum residue limits and levels. The retail-to-fork part of the food chain, in the private consumer setting, cannot be legislated but may benefit from science-based policy initiatives. As regards food handling, logistics and preparation, both in-retail and post-retail consumer behaviour can substantially contribute to the risk from, and exposure to, certain food-borne hazards. This is the case in particular to those which are not effectively or easily managed earlier in the food chain, or that arise as a result of consumer practices.

An improved, consumer-driven, food safety approach requires scientific data on the impact of consumer practices on the risks of food-borne hazards. It also needs innovative strategies, technologies and tools to help consumers manage these risks and their exposure to food-borne hazards, while taking account of food sustainability. This should, in return, reduce food-borne disease and exposure to food-borne hazards. At the same time, it should contribute to the sustainability of the food chain and to improving the holistic "farm-to-fork" food safety framework.


Proposals should cover food-borne hazards and risks where consumer actions can help reduce risk and/or exposure.

Proposals should identify and consider different consumer risk-groups, taking into account socio-economic backgrounds and culture-based food handling practices in the EU. Where relevant, proposals should address gender-specific aspects, and the gender dimension in the research content shall be taken into account. Proposals should develop, test and implement novel and innovative strategies, technologies and tools to help consumers mitigate risks from food-borne hazards.

Interdisciplinary and multi-actor approaches are required. There should be input from the social sciences and humanities to engage with consumers in general. Civil society, consumer associations, the food industry and market actors should also be involved. Innovative and strategic food safety policy models, aimed at addressing and supporting the role of the consumer in food safety, should be proposed and analysed. Proposals should fall under the concept of the 'multi-actor approach'[1].

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 9.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

In order to reduce food-borne diseases and exposure to hazards, improve the sustainability of the food chain and improve the holistic "farm-to-fork" food safety framework, proposals should:

  • help consumers mitigate risks from, and exposure to, food-borne hazards with the aim of reducing the occurrence of food-borne diseases;
  • scientifically characterise the contribution of in-retail and post-retail private consumer behaviour (up to the point of consumption) to risks from, and exposure to, food-borne hazards, including due to logistical and food handling and food preparation practices;
  • develop and stimulate market uptake using scientific evidence based approaches, tried-and-tested technologies and tools that enhance consumer-driven food safety;
  • strengthen interdisciplinary research approaches and foster an inclusive and participatory multi-actor approach for long-lasting implementation of the results obtained.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

[1]See definition of the 'multi-actor approach' in the introduction of this Work Programme part.

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong & Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme
    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme [, with the following exceptions]:

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

    Information on the outcome of two-stage evaluation:
          For stage 1: maximum 3 months from the deadline for submission.
          For stage 2: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement
  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved. This topic participates per default in the open access to research data pilot which aims to improve and maximise access to and re-use of research data generated by projects:
  • The pilot applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available for open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan (to be provided within six months after the project start).
  • Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they are part of the Pilot, and will not be penalised for opting out of the Pilot.
  • Projects can at any stage opt-out of the pilot.
  • The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.Further information on the Open Research Data Pilot is made available inH2020 Online Manual.

8. Additional documents

Additional documents

  • H2020-SFS-2016-2 second stage Flash info en
  • H2020-SFS-2016-2 first stage Flash info en
  • Generalised feedback en

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