What is it?
Food safety means the respect – in all production and distribution phases- of the hygiene requirements for the healthiness of food and therefore the absence of contaminations that could put in danger the consumers.
How it works
Food safety is regulated by a series of specific European and national rules, which regulate the whole chain and also the handling of emergencies.
In particular, Regulation 178/2002 is the framework rule on the topic and it establishes the general principles of the food legislation. It creates also the European Food Safety Agency.
One of the main innovations of the Regulation is the imposition on the industry of the food tracking for the whole production chain. This measure allows, in case of emergencies, to easily withdraw a product from the market.
The Regulation creates also the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed, to exchange information about the measures adopted in reply to a risk related to food or feed.
What to do
Legislative measures are not enough to reduce the risks; most cases of food intoxication happen because of consumer’s fault. Prevention can be achieved also by following some simple hygiene rules when managing, preparing and conserving food.
Consumers can play an active role also for food safety in public areas: if in restaurants or bars the food smells or looks bad, it is always good to refuse it.
To whom address
If you notice hygiene problems in a public place or there can be problems related to food safety, it is important to immediately inform the responsible and, if necessary, also the competent ASL.