Food testing and quality analysis giant Mérieux NutriSciences India recently launched its Blue Paper,18 titled “European Food Safety Trends, Key Issues & Perspectives” which aims at helping manufacturers and exporters with a better understanding of food-related health issues and an enhanced ability to spot future food safety hazards. In a conversation with Progressive Grocer India, Philippe Sans, President and Global CEO, Mérieux NutriSciences, shares his views on trends in the food safety and quality market and improved regulatory measures.
Tell us about your company’s operations and its motivation in coming out with a food safety report?
Food crisis actuality is pushing all of us into a mode of rapid and targeted action planning. Having a mid-term and long-term vision of emerging issues is critical in determining proper strategies and control measures along the food chain. Mérieux NutriSciences has access to multiple resources and our global expert network is constantly “digesting” a huge amount of information on a daily basis. It became obvious that we had to launch this Blue Paper initiative in order to help our customers and stakeholders have a better understanding of food-related health issues and an enhanced vision of future challenges.
Which have been the most noticeable food safety regulations in Europe in recent years with maximum impact on consumer health and wellness?
The trend in food safety regulations is an integrated system that started in 2005 with the so called “Hygiene package”. The key words are: independent risk assessment (EFSA), food operators’ responsibility, traceability and science-based regulations under the HACCP umbrella. While targeted limits have been defined for many contaminants (pesticides, heavy metals, targeted microbiological criteria), other parameters are under scrutiny. With no binding limits, it is the responsibility of food operators to put specific control plans in place. In addition to that, key regulations have been recently enforced on nutrition labeling to protect consumer health and to help end users make an informed choice. Consideration is also given to emerging risks such as endocrine disrupters (from packaging material) and the use of ingredients in nano size (nanomaterials).
What steps have been taken by regulatory authorities in Europe to prevent the recurrence of food fraud incidents in the future?
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