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Food hygiene

Zubereitung von Fleisch und Salat

Food hygiene is an important prerequisite to health. BfR examines, more particularly, pathogens in foods which can involve health risks in the event of poor hygiene, but also germs which can spoil foods.

Food hygiene is primarily the responsibility of companies processing, producing, treating or marketing foods. Clean working spaces and tools, bodily hygiene of all employees and the selection of proper raw materials for the processing of the different products are particularly important.

Prevent foodborne infections through hygiene

Hygiene encompasses all measures which prevent the perishing of food, help to avoid the transmission of infectious diseases or curb the contamination of consumers by residues and contaminants. Cleaning, disinfection, and sterilisation serve, for instance, for the reduction of contamination by microorganisms.

Since many foods are an ideal substrate for microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasites they are subject to particularly stringent demands in terms of hygiene.

What does BfR do?

BfR conducts health assessments for different pathogen/food combinations. This is based on the risk assessment of bacteria, viruses and parasites in foods in accordance with the respective international scientific state of knowledge. A focus of BfR is on microorganisms which are transmissible from animals via foods to humans, the so-called zoonoses.

The assessment of the health risk is a dynamic process. For that reason BfR permanently adjusts its assessments to the most recent scientific findings.

Legal bases

Since 1 January 2006 direct Community law has applied in Germany. Three EU Regulations on food hygiene replaced the previous national Ordinance:

In addition the following applies:



Date Title Size
BfR Opinion Nr. 019/2014
Food hygiene: UV-C treatment is an effective method for microbial reduction on shell eggs 27.7 KB



Date Title Size
Communication No 020/2014
Chemical decontamination procedures: no substitute for integrated hygiene concepts 43.7 KB