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Making FCL Software fit for purpose - SA12


Funding programme / funding institution: Europäische Behörde für Lebensmittelsicherheit (EFSA) - Italien

Grant number: GP/EFSA/AMU/2020/02-SA12

Project homepage:

Project description:


In times of complex globalised food and feed supply chains there is a strong need for efficient tracing strategies including data collection and data exchange approaches as well as powerful interoperable tracing software tools. In general, harmonised data structures, accurate and detailed datasets, digitalised data collection tools including data validation as well as interfaces to data systems are essential to allow for a faster tracing data exchange and thorough tracing.

To achieve those aims, a new project cooperation between EFSA and BfR was initiated in 2021. The project is the continuation of the current EFSA-BfR Framework Partnership Agreement (GP/EFSA/AMU/2020/02) and specifically the projects SA6 “Data collection tool for tracing purposes in the context of urgent scientific advice” and SA7 “Food & feed classification for tracing purposes”. The main purpose of this follow-up project is to optimize FoodChain-Lab and FoodChain-Lab Web including its visualization, analysis and reporting features with regard to the new requirements of a multi-actor tracing tool ecosystem and make it fit for purpose. Feedback for the optimization with regard to a high level of applicability and user-friendliness will be achieved from the corresponding EFSA-BfR projects SA11 and SA10.

By tailoring FoodChain-Lab to the needs of local, national and European authorities, the software will improve the quality, timeliness and completeness of tracing analyses and therfore will help to solve complex foodborne crises more efficiently.


BfR will use the experience of the EFSA-BfR projects SA11 as well as from past and upcoming foodborne incident investigations and case studies for the Implementation of feature requests and suggestions for optimization (WP 1) to fit the FCL software to the procedures and needs of competent authorities in the EU Member States and EFSA. This should guarantee a high level of applicability and user-friendliness of the software.

In WP 2 (Optimization of reporting in FCL Web), the focus is on the one hand on reporting of single foodborne incidents (optimization of reporting view in FCL) and on the other hand for global statistics across several foodborne incidents to e.g. support the production of annual reports. Potential areas of interest for global statistics could be the distribution scheme of specific foods in Europe, how many actors of specific type of businesses are involved, identification of hotspots, display of trade volumes, display of different data sources (outbreak 1, outbreak 2, …), dilution effects of contaminations in composite foods across the food supply chain. Global statistics could be realized in a dashboard module that gives a set of standardised outputs as well as customizable outputs. The of a gravity model feature could be implemented as well.

The requirements and prioritization of the reporting features to be implemented is clarified with EFSA/MS/COM. Input for the improvement and development of such features will be acquired in the corresponding EFSA-BfR projects SA11 project and will depend on close cooperation with MS, EFSA (MESE and BIOMO) and COM. As those global statistics depend on classification, this is a follow-up of the former project SA7 “Food & feed classification for tracing purposes”.

Finally a collaboration with all EFSA projects on traceability in the food and feed supply chain (WP 3) is made to harmonize outputs and goals.

Project partners

  • Europäische Behörde für Lebensmittelsicherheit (EFSA) - Italien




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