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Food Safety

General Food Law

Brexit

Notice to stakeholders - Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU Food Law

European citizens need to have access to safe and wholesome food of highest standards.

A series of food incidents in late 1990s draw attention to the need to establish general principles and requirements concerning food and feed law at Union level. Accordingly, the European Commission developed an integrated approach to food safety 'from farm to fork', primarily set out in its White Paper on Food Safety. It covers all sectors of the food chain, including feed production, primary production, food processing, storage, transport and retail sale.

In 2002, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law (General Food Law Regulation).

The General Food Law Regulation is the foundation of food and feed law. It sets out an overarching and coherent framework for the development of food and feed legislation both at Union and national levels. To this end, it lays down general principles, requirements and procedures that underpin decision making in matters of food and feed safety, covering all stages of food and feed production and distribution.

It also sets up an independent agency responsible for scientific advice and support, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Moreover, it creates the main procedures and tools for the management of emergencies and crises as well as the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).

The General Food Law Regulation ensures a high level of protection of human life and consumers' interests in relation to food, while ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market.

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Further information

Expert group on General Food Law

Expert Group on General Food Law

Fitness check of General Food Law

As part of its 'Smart Regulation' policy, the Commission has initiated a Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT). This is a continuous...

Food law general principles

The general principles of food and feed law are outlined in the General Food Law Regulation (Articles 5 to 10).

Food law general requirements

The safety of food is of critical importance. Consumers must have confidence and assurance that the food they buy will do them no harm or have an...

Food law procedures

The General Food Law Regulation sets out certain procedures relating to food safety. In particular, it provides for 4 measures: the establishment of...

Implementation of the Transparency Regulation

The Commission and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have closely cooperated to ensure the proper implementation of the new Regulation.

Training and support

All the materials as well as the calendar of activities will be listed on this dedicated page.

Transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain

Following the approval by the European Parliament on 17 April 2019, the Council formally adopted, on 13 June 2019, a new Regulation on the...