Food of different safety and quality classes Differences in the handling of

Food of different safety and quality classes

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Food of different safety and quality classes Differences in the handling of food in third countries due to diverging food safety standards
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32 can also be put in strengthening the permanent representation of EU food safety experts in third countries (i.e. EU Delega - tions). This would help in acquiring knowledge of food safety standards and the performance and attitudes of food business operators in third countries, facilitate food trade and ensure that imported food complies with EU legislation. Moreover, by engaging with local authorities and providing scientific and administrative support to food business operators, the EU could contribute to the adoption of internationally agreed food safety principles by third countries. Therefore, initiatives such as the Better Training for Safer Food programme, or other assistance, training, capacity building and outreach activities may need to be further enhanced in the future to help third countries meet new standards. The use of novel technologies in the food chain or the impacts of climate change may cause difficulties in compliance with certain requirements (e.g. maximum residues levels of substances in primary production) and may require the training of producers in third countries to use more efficient prevention and control techniques. Promote co-regulation or enforced self- regulation by food business operators The food regulatory framework is intricate; it consists of a multitude of regulatory acts laying down requirements for horizontal issues (General Food Law, official controls, etc.) as well as vertical (category-specific) requirements (food additives, packaging materials, etc.). Certain regulatory tasks could be devolved to food business operators. An example of self-regulation in the European food arena is the EU Pledge 21 , restricting marketing of food and beverages to children based on the Pledge commitments that consider common nutrition criteria. Extending self-regulation to food safety is possible to a certain extent, but would rather be a form of “co-regulation” or “enforced self-regulation”. In such a scheme, regulators define specific food safety standards. The implementation, including risk management, monitoring and compliance checking is then performed by the food business operators in a way that is suitable for the specific industry. The application of the HACCP concept is an example of successful industry co-regulation or enforced self-regulation. Co-regulation or enforced self-regulation could also develop based on existing voluntary private food safety standards such as ISO 22000 22 , BRC 23 , IFS Food 24 , SQF 25 , etc. and an additional input of all relevant stakeholders, as a starting point. These standards have been developed by international organisa- tions or food business operators’ associations for managing food safety along the whole food chain or in specific sectors (e.g. retail) to compensate to some extent for the differ - ences resulting from the absence of harmonised standards
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