Ensuring the safety of food

The requirements with regard to the safety of food (Safe Food) relate to everything that does not endanger the consumer's health at envisaged use (e.g. raw meat must be thermally processed before consumption).

Food shall not be placed on the market if it is unsafe.

Food is not safe if it is harmful for health or inappropriate for nutrition.

A safe food item is: 

  • appropriately labelled,
  • it ensures traceability,
  • it is produced, processed, sold in accordance with the principles of food hygiene,
  • presented in a way that does not mislead consumers.

A food item is safe if it does not contain: 

  • biological risk factors (pathogenic bacteria, parasites, viruses),
  • chemical risk factors (remains of pesticides, heavy metals, drugs, detergents, non-permitted additives and other toxic substances),
  • and physical risk factors (such as mechanical or solid particles: stones, bones, wood, earth, glass, plastics etc.). 

In determining whether any food is unsafe, the following is considered: 

  • all phases of production, processing and distribution,
  • the usual conditions of consumer using the food item,
  • the information provided to the consumer, including information on the label, or other information generally available to the consumer concerning the avoidance of specific adverse health effects from a particular food or category of foods.

In determining whether any food is harmful for health, the following is considered: 

  • the probable immediate and/or short-term and/or long-term effects of that food on the health of a person consuming it, but also on subsequent generations;
  • the probable cumulative toxic effects;
  • the particular health sensitivities of a specific category of consumers where the food is intended for that category of consumers. 

Ensuring the safety of food

A comprehensive approach is required for the safety or medical suitability of food, which considers the fact that the food supply is connected to food chain that stretches from the field to the table. Every piece of the chain must be defined, controlled and governed. Food is and will be safe only if all parts of the food chain understand and fulfil their responsibilities.

The following entities carry the responsibility for food safety: 

  • food businesses which are directly included in the food chain and are obliged to establish a system to permanently ensure the safety of food within their activity;
  • the state which is obliged to ensure the regulations and official inspection system;
  • the consumer who is the last part of the food chain with regard to final procedures in food preparation in the domestic kitchen.

The key obligations of food and feed businesses: 

  • Safety: The businesses cannot distribute dangerous food or fodder; Responsibility.
  • The businesses are responsible for the safety of food and fodder which they produce, transport, store or sell.
  • Traceability: The businesses must be capable of quickly identifying every supplier or recipient.
  • Transparency: The businesses must immediately notify the competent authorities when there is a reason for a suspicion that their food or fodder is not safe.
  • Necessary measures: The businesses must immediately withdraw food or fodder from the market when there is a reason for a suspicion that their food or fodder is not safe.
  • Prevention: The businesses must establish and regularly verify critical points in their procedures and ensure the control of those points.
  • Cooperation: The businesses must cooperate with the competent authorities in risk reduction procedures.

The obligations of the food business;

The food business is responsible to produce safe and quality food. They are obliged to establish the system

Last updated: 21. 09. 2016