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Food safety

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Food safety activities involve the toxicological, nutritional-physiological or nutritional-medical assessment of foods.

Toxicological assessment of foods

It aims to ensure that foods only contain safe levels of substances:

  • Natural ingredients
    Depending on the level, the natural ingredients in a food may have a desirable effect - like caffeine in the stimulants coffee, tea or Cola beverages or an adverse effect - like solanine in potatoes.

  • Food additives
    To give foods certain properties, various substances are added like preservatives, antioxidants, thickening agents, sweeteners and flavourings. Other substances facilitate the processing of the foods and are called processing aids.

  • Residues and contaminants
    Undesirable substances, that may impair health, can

    • come from the environment;
    • be formed by micro-organisms (mould);
    • reach the food chain through feedstuffs for food-producing animals;
    • migrate to food during production, storage or treatment;
    • be formed during food processing (smoking, curing) or preparation (grilling,  frying, roasting).

Nutritional-medical food assessment

This provides insight into the extent to which the composition of a food permits its inclusion in various diets and whether the supply of the body with nutrients is guaranteed. Assessments are made of the risks arising from over or undersupply with nutrients like vitamins and minerals.

Food ingredients, placed on the market in isolated form as food supplements or additives, are also assessed. The Institute focuses, in particular, on dietetic foods like infant formula and complementary food.

Risk management recommendations

The findings obtained from the toxicological and nutritional-medical assessment of foods provide the scientific basis for the setting of maximum levels or limit values. BfR advises the competent national risk management agencies and the corresponding European authorities.

Research into greater food safety

BfR actively does research in the field of food safety. This encompasses the various production stages in the manufacturing and distribution chain, in line with the "farm to fork" principle. The goal is to identify molecular links as a first step towards developing strategies for consumer protection.

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Opinion

 (3)
Date Title Größe
27.09.2010
Opinion No. 006/2011 of BfR
Risk of suffocation through hard sugar balls with chewing gum core 30.5 KB
PDF-File
27.09.2006
BfR Expert Opinion No. 001/2007
Allergies caused by consumer products and foods 344.8 KB
PDF-File
26.05.2005
BfR Expert Opinion No. 032/2005
Mouse bioassay not suitable as a reference method for the regular analysis of algae toxins in mussels 78.8 KB
PDF-File

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Press information

 (15)
Date Title Keywords
17.11.2016
47/2016
Tracking Down the Food Fraudsters authenticity, food safety , research
06.06.2016
20/2016
Adulterated animal-based foods to become easier to detect in future analysis , food safety
18.02.2016
09/2016
Global food trade poses new challenges to consumer health protection animal feed , authenticity, consumer protection , food , food safety
15.08.2014
22/2014
Advanced training and networking for experts from all over the world food safety , risk communication
02.06.2014
13/2014
Food safety and globalisation - challenges and opportunities food safety
02.12.2013
32/2013
Food safety in Europe - who does what? food safety , publications
12.08.2013
23/2013
Second BfR Summer School on the topic of food safety food safety
28.08.2012
24/2012
By experts for experts: the first BfR-Summer school successfully completed
26.04.2012
16/2012
"Natural" does not always mean "safe"
25.01.2012
03/2012
Dioxin and EHEC yesterday, antimicrobials today - what next? EHEC - enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, zoonoses
26.09.2011
33/2011
Food safety in Europe - who is responsible for what?
10.09.2009
22/2009
EFSA confirms BfR position on detection methods for algal toxins in shellfishs
15.01.2009
02/2009
Where does honey come from and from which cattle breed the filet?
28.06.2007
09/2007
People who are allergic to birch pollen may react hypersensitively to soy products too
26.04.2007
03/2007
Nutrient profiles are to protect consumers from misleading advertising and deceit

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External links

 (1)
Link
WHO Food Safety News

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