Health indicators

Collections of food consumption data

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) collects food consumption data. This data plays a key role in the evaluation of the risks related to possible hazards in food in the European Union (EU) and allows estimates of consumers’ exposure to such hazards, a fundamental step in EFSA’s risk assessment work. EFSA’s scientists are constantly developing the food consumption data available to support food safety risk assessment.

The EFSA Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database is a source of information on food consumption across the EU. It provides detailed information for a number of EU countries in refined food categories and specific population groups, also partly covering children. Summary statistics from the database enable quick screening for chronic and acute exposure to substances that may be found in the food chain. The EFSA Concise European Food Consumption Database, published in 2008, gathered data on food consumption for adults in Europe according to broad categories. This data can be used for exposure screening. It served as a basis for developing the Comprehensive Food Consumption Database.

The EU Menu project aims at harmonising data collection on food consumption in Europe. The objective is to provide standardised information on what people eat in all countries and regions across the EU in detailed categories and including all population groups. It will allow more efficient and accurate overall exposure assessment in Europe and support risk managers in their decision making on food safety. The need to standardise food consumption data was initially addressed in projects like the Data Food Networking (DAFNE) project and the Expansion and update of existing nutrition monitoring systems (ANEMOS) project.

For a social perspective, Eurostat Household Budget Surveys (HBS) collect data on consumption expenditure of private households for a wide range of food items.

See also the study 'Food consumption indicators: results using data collected from the household budget survey'.