Controlling food safety is a legal requirement in the food industry and essential to maintain confidence in the Belgian food industry, both for consumers and for export. Since legislation on food safety is also constantly evolving on the basis of newly acquired scientific insights, there is also a need for continuous investment in training and further education.
This course explains the concept of building science-based and/or evidence-based legislation as a risk management strategy for ensuring food safety and quality. Insight is gained into European and national (Belgian) food legislation, framed in a broad international context. Several legal documents for the management of food safety, hygiene, use of additives and nutritional composition of foods, Novel foods, etc. will be discussed. Invited guest speakers illustrate specific legislative topics and introduce a multi-actor approach (e.g. risk managers, food industry, consumer organisations).
This course is explaining the concept of setting science based and/or evidence based legislation as risk management strategy to govern food safety and food quality. Insight in European and national (Belgian) food legislation, framed in a broad international context will be provided. Multiple legal documents to manage food safety, hygiene, use of additives and nutritional composition of foods will be discussed. Invited guest speakers are illustrating specific legislative subjects and are bringing in a multiactor approach (e.g. risk managers, food industry, consumer organisations). Tools and skills to find and interpret legislative documents are practiced through exercises. A case study has to be worked out on a topic suggested by the students, in which students need to find the correct legal documents and be able to make the appropriate interpretation. In this case study, if possible, a collaboration is foreseen amongst students with different backgrounds and the multiactor approach (i.e. looking to the same topic from a different perspective) is included. The case study will be presented in front of the group and a discussion will be organised (microteaching).
1 1 History and EU institutions
1 2 General Food Law
1 3 The Food Hygiene Package and legislation related to (micro)biological hazards
1 4 Legislation related to chemical hazards (e.g. residues and contaminants including food contact materials)
1 5 Legislation related to Food Improvement Agents (e.g. additives, enzymes, flavourings)
1 6 Legislation related to Food Information for Consumers (FIC)
1 7 Legislation related to Health and Nutrition claims
1 8 Legislation related to Novel foods, GMOs
1 9 Other documents (e.g. Guidance documents, Commission Notices) as “soft laws”
1 1 Belgian Self-checking/autocontrol (principles, sector guides, checklists, quick start sheets…)
1 2 Recognitions, authorizations and registration of food business operators
1 3 Organisational framework (food safety agency and ministry of public health)
1 1 Codex Alimentarius – horizontal and vertical standards
1 2 Setting risk-based and evidence based legal framework as risk management strategy
Students need to select a legal food related issue (e.g. in their home country) or select a particular food product and food business to discuss this towards presence/absence of legal documents, link towards international framework, critical view of effectiveness to govern the quality/safety/nutritional status of the food. In this case study, students should apply relevant legal documents by use of platforms, search engines and interpret these through knowledge gained during the lectures. This will be presented and discussed before the group