Food safety, understood as a guarantee of food products without a dangerous effect on the health of consumers, is an interdisciplinary subject that requires knowledge in the field of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, food hygiene in its broadest sense: it involves the Veterinary Services of the ASL in its joints, Animal Health, Hygiene and Inspection of food of o.a., Animal hygiene and animal production, the corresponding Medical Services of food hygiene and nutrition and for some specific aspects the Public Hygiene Service (Sisp), all within the Prevention Department.
Every year 600 million people (about 1 in 10) get sick from consuming contaminated food and 420,000 are those who die (Source: FAO and who). Food can be contaminated by viruses, bacteria, parasites, chemical agents, including drugs and contain foreign bodies of various kinds and the diseases they cause undermine the socio-economic development of populations.
Safe food is critical to the health of consumers and to ensuring adequate livelihoods for all. Investing in consumer education on Food Safety contributes to achieving a high profit.
The Veterinary Inspection Services of Food of Animal Origin of the ASL of Frosinone have decided to provide a tool that aims to convey reliable and usable information to interested parties (companies, consumers, professionals) and be a reference point to satisfy doubts, curiosities and update on events and current events, which finds its expression as well as in the proposed contents, in the moment of comparison and information organized annually, in collaboration with the Stakeholders of the sector (Food Safety Week).
Food Safety Events ASL Frosinone
- Sampling of food matrices microbiological criteria – zoonotic agents and foodborne diseases – 16 June 2023
- Training event – Food safety in agritourism catering – Friday 18 November 2022 Giuliano di Roma (FR)
- Food Safety Week 2019
- Food Safety Week 2018
- Food Safety Week 2017
Technical notions on Food Safety
Food safety is based on two specific concepts: food safety and food safety.
Food security refers to the availability of food for people in sufficient quantities to ensure its sustainability. In its broadest sense, food security is understood as the possibility of physical and economic access to a sufficient, safe and nutritious amount of food to meet dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life (FAO, 1996).
Food safety deals with the handling, preparation, packaging and storage of food in order to prevent diseases that can be caused by food.
In the food field, the most commonly used definition is that according to which food safety is the guarantee that food products do not have a dangerous effect on the health of consumers, when such products are prepared and consumed.
Since the early 1990s, the European Union has enacted laws with the aim of protecting the health of its citizens and making them a legislative reference in all the countries of the union. However, the problem that food can be contaminated remains and is more current than ever. Food-borne illness (FBD) is an international public health problem. It is estimated that in industrialized countries alone, 30% of the population is subject to food poisoning every year.
The Food Safety Theme plays an important role in the current socio-cultural context where the citizen/consumer requires transparency and information on the health of food production and consumption. Accepting this request, the Veterinary Inspection Services of Food of Animal Origin of ASL Frosinone have decided to provide a tool that aims to convey reliable and usable information to interested parties (companies, consumers, professionals). The site aims to be a point of reference for the citizen to satisfy doubts and curiosities, to update on events and current events and to collect the consumer’s point of view.
Food safety is an interdisciplinary subject, it requires knowledge that involves the field of medicine, veterinary medicine, food hygiene in its broadest sense and involves not only the Veterinary Services of the ASL but also the corresponding Medical Services of food hygiene and nutrition and for certain specific aspects of the Hygiene Service (SISP), all within the Prevention Department.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is food safety?
First and foremost, food safety includes compliance with the precise health characteristics of food from a hygienic and sanitary point of view (food safety).
It is the responsibility of food and feed business operators to ensure that in the businesses they control the food or feed complies with the provisions of food law relating to their activities at all stages of production, processing and distribution and to verify that these provisions are complied with. The goal is to get food products as safe as possible.
There are many useful tools to achieve this goal. Food legislation requires operators to prepare and implement appropriate procedures, based on current regulations on the subject.
How is food safety ensured?
The food security of citizens is also guaranteed through the services provided by veterinary facilities, which oversee the hygiene and safety of food of animal origin and feed and animal health and welfare.
The achievement of this objective is guaranteed by:
- the control of pathogens and contaminants that can enter the food chain and cause harm to human health, essentially through the sampling of food of animal origin;
- the prevention and monitoring of animal diseases transmissible to humans (zoonoses), as well as animal diseases that have an impact on human health as a result of the entry of drug residues into the chain;
- control over the feed of farmed animals and the consequences on human nutrition;
- control for the suppression of food fraud and compliance with labelling regulations.
What are the structures that ensure food safety?
Legislative Decree no. 193/07 establishes that the active structures to guarantee food safety are:
- the Ministry of Health;
- the Autonomous Regions and Provinces of Trento and Bolzano;
- local Health Authorities (AASSLL).
What tasks do AASSLLs have?
Local Health Authorities are responsible, in the field of food safety, for the planning, programming and execution at local level of official controls on OSA (food sector operators) and OSM (feed sector operators).
Food safety controls are expressed through:
- sampling and analysis, inspections, audits and verifications on companies;
- recognition and certification of food, feed and animal by-products and pharmaceuticals companies;
- control and monitoring of animal diseases;
- control and monitoring of veterinary drugs.
How do you determine if a food product is dangerous?
In determining whether a food product is hazardous, account shall be taken of the normal conditions of use, the information provided to the consumer, the likely immediate or delayed effect on health, the cumulative toxic consequences and the particular sensitivities of a category of consumers.
No food is placed on the market if it is dangerous, that is, if it is harmful to health and/or not suitable for consumption.
When a dangerous food product is part of a batch or batch, the whole batch is considered dangerous.
When unsafe food products are placed on the market, whose responsibility is it?
The responsibility lies with the OSA (Food Sector Operator), i.e. the one who controls the food business, for each product made, processed, imported, marketed or administered by it.
If an operator considers that a feed or foodstuff that he has imported, produced or processed, manufactured or distributed is harmful to human or animal health, he shall immediately initiate the procedures necessary to withdraw it from the market by notifying the Competent Authorities.
If the product is already purchased, the operator is required to provide adequate information to consumers.
However, there are also duties of the States, which must apply food legislation and monitor compliance with the provisions of food sector operators, at all stages. States must also establish penalties for violations of the rules.
What is product traceability and why is it important?
Traceability is the possibility of reconstructing and following the path of a food, an animal or a substance, at each stage of the product’s life cycle, in order to establish the presence of any risks.
Again, the responsibility lies with the operator, who must be able to determine who provided him with a food, a feed, a substance.