A three-year project with 23 partners from 12 countries is going to look at the future of the European food safety system.

The effort, dubbed “FOODSAFETY4EU,” will be coordinated by the Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche (CNR) in Italy. Work is set to run from the start of 2021 until the end of 2023 with a budget of €3 million ($3.5 million).

A multi-stakeholder platform will enable partners to access resources and data, synchronize food safety research strategies, share and exchange scientific knowledge and contributions for the future of the EU food safety system.

A European Food Safety Forum will be set up to guarantee the long term science, policy and society interface. Groups involved in the project are from Italy, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Romania, Portugal, Albania, Tunisia and Switzerland.

Different backgrounds of project partners
Digital tools, co-designed strategies and communication models will support food safety authorities, EU agencies, policymakers, scientists and civil society and contribute to strengthening the EU approach to risk assessment and communication, according to the project announcement.

The Horizon 2020 funded project includes Ruokavirasto (Finnish Food Authority), the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA) in Belgium, Economic and Food Safety Authority (ASAE) in Portugal, European Food Information Council, FoodDrinkEurope, ISEKI-Food Association, Euro Co-op and Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

It is the first project funded for the “Supporting the food safety systems of the future” program by the European Commission.

“Recent consumer concerns on the transparency of the process of safety assessment of our foods as well as technological developments and innovations have shown that there is a need to reflect on the EU food safety system of the future,” according to the topic brief.

Scientific experts in food safety will work alongside specialists with knowledge in developing and structuring participation; stakeholder engagement, communication and networking; e-platforms, smart tools and data management; food safety policies implementation and those who represent the food and feed industry, consumers and society.

A network of 44 other food safety supporting partners will populate the platform and interact by expressing opinions, sharing information, data and reports; providing strategy advice and sharing project results.

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