The integrated approach to food safety as adopted by the European Union aims at ensuring that the high levels of food quality are assured and that they are coherently done through measures that are farm-to-table like. This entails adequate monitoring and ensuring efficient functionality of its internal market. To be able to implement this approach, the governing body of the EU has had to develop effective health measures and legislations. Consequently, effective food safety control systems have had to be assured and evaluated to ensure their compliance with the set standards (TRIENEKENS & ZUURBIER, 2008). The safety of the food system is also ensured by independently carrying out a risk assessment different from the risk management.
Keeping the quality and safety of food throughout the food chain requires both operating procedures to ensure the wholesomeness of food and monitoring procedures to ensure operations are carried out as intended. The food safety system is usually based on the principle that protection needs to be assured during the course of the food chain if the health of customers is to be sheltered. Primarily, quality management systems are designed to ensure compliance with third party and retailer standards (VOS & WENDLER, 2006). Food safety management systems principally control the specific food safety hazards associated with the product and ensure compliance with food safety legislation.
Finally, the quality and safety of food depends on the efforts of everybody involved in the complex chain of agriculture production, processing, transport, food production and consumption. As the EU and the World Health Organization (WHO) put it succinctly – food safety is a shared responsibility from farm to fork.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was established in the year 2002.