IMS Symposium

Food safety is shared responsibility, argues specialist

By Flemmich Webb

- Last updated on GMT

Whole food chain has role to play in food safety, says EU expert
Whole food chain has role to play in food safety, says EU expert

Related tags European union Research

All stakeholders in the food production chain have a responsibility to improve food safety, according to the EU’s Koen Van Dyck, head of unit, DDG2.G4, food alert system and training.

Speaking at the IMS Symposium on Future Industrial Meat Production in Copenhagen, Denmark, he said: “It should be a shared responsibility between legislators, food producers and customers (when handling food).

“Involvement and co-ordination with stakeholders should come at an early stage, and their input should be sought at the beginning — communication is the key to public perception as people are afraid of change. This should result in safer food,”​ he said.

Van Dyck added the food production sector could play a key role in finding innovative ways to help the EU achieve its goal of a 20% reduction in the food chain’s resource input as part of Europe’s 2020 strategy. This could be in the areas of food waste, packaging, transport packaging, increasing the market share of sustainable food, and the use of resources.

The inspection regime had a role to play, too, he said, and Parliament was meeting this week [Thursday 26 September] to discuss its objections to the Commissions proposals to change it.

“The EU has a high level of food safety and it’s now considered as a ‘quality’ label,”​ said Van Dyck. “So it’s important to have a solid legal basis for the legislation – basic research is good, applied research is even better as it can be used to support the development of legislation.

“Innovation is important and legislation will follow, but it takes time – you need sound scientific data. Industry might want to move faster but it’s a democratic process – everyone can have their say and then we can move forward.”

Related topics Meat

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