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Food safety in Europe - who is responsible for what?

33/2011, 26.09.2011

BfR publishes 2. completely revised edition of the EU Food Safety Almanac

The EHEC outbreak event in 2011 which affected numerous citizens of European Member States has shown that a Europe-wide network of all food safety authorities for the protection of consumers is absolutely imperative. BfR’s EU Food Safety Almanac provides a concise depiction of the governmental structures in 33 European countries and the European Community level for such purposes. "Smooth cooperation between state players in Europe strengthens food safety. If the stakeholders and structures in the European countries are known to all those concerned, then we will be able to work together even more effectively and avoid redundant work", says Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. As BfR President and the German member of the Advisory Forum of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), he is responsible for risk assessment of food and feed both at the national and European level.

Each of the 33 country profiles contains a diagram that depicts the structure of governmental authorities and a detailed description of tasks and responsibilities of each institution. 10 icons depict the areas of responsibility graphically. BfR’s EU Food Safety Almanac thus explains which authorities in the 33 states are responsible for the assessment of plant protection products, health claims or zoonoses, which ministries in the Member States are responsible for the management in which areas, how risks are communicated and to what extent risk assessment and risk management are institutionally separated.

The booklet is addressed to all those interested in the legal structures and institutions of food safety in Europe, especially experts in the field such as the staff of food safety authorities, news media, members of parliament, consumer associations, the food industry as well as science.

BfR, which is the EFSA Focal Point for Germany, prepared the EU Food Safety Almanac in close cooperation with the EFSA Focal Points of the other European Member States. The EU Food Safety Almanac can be downloaded on the BfR website at no cost in German as well as English. The booklet can also be ordered - in German or English - directly from BfR: Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Unit Press and Public Relations, Thielallee 88-92, 14195 Berlin, Germany, fax: +49-(0)30-18412-4970, e-mail:

About BfR

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientific institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. BfR engages in own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.


Publications - EU-Almanac

Date Title Size
BfR Information Brochure
EU Food Safety Almanac in english language 5.7 MB