EFSA publishes database on food consumption in Europe

By Claire Videau

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Efsa European union United kingdom European food safety authority

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published its first Comprehensive Food Consumption Database that will provide guidance for further studies on dietary exposure assessments.

The Comprehensive Database, available here​, was produced in conjunction with the EU member states from existing information drawn from 32 dietary surveys in the 22 states.

The work started in 2008, when member states drew up national dietary surveys in their country that would be used for EFSA’s risk assessment work.

At the time, the Concise Database was the only database in Europe that contained information from national dietary surveys, but the data were only limited to a small number of food categories.

Since this limited its use for food exposure assessments, EFSA decided to develop a more detailed food consumption database for that purpose.

Dealing with the data

The Comprehensive database will use FoodEx, EFSA’s own food and beverages classification system. Categories are as follow:

- age: from infant to adults aged 75 and over

- food group

- type of consumption

The statistics are then reported in grams per day as well as grams per kilogram of body weight per day.

These enable EFSA to view chronic and acute exposure to substances that can be found in the food chain and therefore evaluate consumers’ exposure to such risks.

Further studies

The detailed information contained in the database will be the basis for a number of studies EFSA is working on.

According to EFSA, the document will play a key role in evaluating risks related to hazards in food in the EU and complete EFSA’s work on risk assessment.

Nevertheless, the collection of these data cannot be used for country-to-county comparison because of the different methodologies used.

EFSA is working on a standardised food consumption data collection system with the EU member states. This project is known as ‘What’s on the menu in Europe?’ and the studies link to this initiative should be completed by 2012, said the authority.

Related topics Science

Related news

Follow us


View more