Each year, on 9th June, takes place the World Accreditation Day. This event is a great opportunity to promote widely accreditation, accredited conformity assessment and standards, and is celebrated in over 100 economies.
This year’s theme is ‘Accreditation : Improving food safety’. For consumers around the world, access to safe and nutritious food is an essential requirement for maintaining their overall health and the well-being of families, children and elders. The term food safety describes all practices that are used to keep our food safe. Food safety relies on all players involved in the supply of food, from farmers and producers to retailers and caterers.
What is the contribution of accreditation to food safety? It helps for example fighting foodborne diseases, decreasing food poisoning (chemical, microbiological, parasitological, etc.), and in the end saving money from patient care expenses.
Improvement in food safety can be achieved by accreditation of testing laboratories, performing analyses in the food chain, and by application of several accredited certification schemes based on HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) principles like ISO 22000 (Food safety management systems), BRC (Global Standard for Food Safety), and others widely implemented at global level.
Accreditation of testing laboratories and organizations delivering certification increases the confidence in the sustainable quality of food products and ensure that adequate decisions and practices, supervised by National Accreditation Bodies, are followed in the food chain production. Product certifications are easily identifiable thanks to logos applied directly on products, and can reassure immediately consumers.
There are various European legislations which make use of accreditation as the preferred means to demonstrate the competence of laboratories and certification bodies in order to ensure compliance with EU food safety requirements. Examples are:
- Regulation (EU) 2017/625 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products;
- Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs;
- Regulation (EU) No 251/2014 on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of aromatized wine products;
- Regulation (EU) 2019/787 on the definition, description, presentation and labelling of spirit drinks, the use of the names of spirit drinks in the presentation and labelling of other foodstuffs, the protection of geographical indications for spirit drinks, the use of ethyl alcohol and distillates of agricultural origin in alcoholic beverages;
- Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/644 laying down methods of sampling and analysis for the control of levels of dioxins, dioxin-like PCBs and non-dioxin-like PCBs in certain foodstuffs;
- Commission Regulation (EC) No 566/2008 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 as regards the marketing of the meat of bovine animals aged 12 months or less;
Additionally, there are more than 10 European legislations in the feed and agriculture sector, which use of accreditation too (see EA-INF/05 Directory of European legislations and EU schemes with provisions to accreditation and/or conformity assessment).
Click here to access the promotional materials on the World Accreditation Day 2020 jointly prepared by IAF and ILAC.