The EU’s policy on food safety takes an integrated approach and encompasses the entire food chain, from animal feed, animal health, plant protection and food production to processing, storage, transport, import and export, as well as retail sales.
The implementation of this integrated food-safety policy in the EU involves various actions: providing an effective control system, managing international relations with third countries and international organisations, and conducting science-based risk management.
The European Court of Auditors is currently examining whether the EU food safety model is based on sound principles, and whether the way it is implemented is effective in keeping the products we consume in the EU safe. As the EU’s policy on food safety is necessarily broad, the audit will focus on the decisions and the control systems concerning chemical hazards that could put at risk the safety of the products we consume in the EU.
Audit evidence will be collected through reviews and analyses of relevant legislation, and by monitoring data, publications, and other documents. We will carry out on-the-spot visits and interviews with various Commission departments as well as with relevant EU agencies and authorities, and other stakeholders, including supranational bodies. We have selected three Member States (the Netherlands, Italy and Slovenia) for audit visits in order to provide a picture of how systems work on the ground.
This audit report will form part of a series on various aspects of the food chain produced by the European Court of Auditors. The series also includes Food Waste (published in January 2017), Animal Welfare (currently underway) and Organic Food (also planned for 2018).