Insect food soon to become part of our diet

25.9.2017 08:52

Insects can soon be raised and marketed for food use and served as insect food also in Finland. Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira has started the preparation of guidelines for the whole industry to ensure the safety of the products to the consumers. After the completion of the guidelines, producers wishing to produce insects for food use will have to register as food business operators.

Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira is drawing up guidance for the food industry on the breeding and marketing of insects. The project will be completed by the beginning of November. The preparation of guidelines is carried out in cooperation with insect business operators, and they are designed for use by both food control authorities, insect breeders and companies producing insect food. When the guidelines are ready, insect producers can register as food business operators, and this will make it possible to start the marketing of insect food.

With a change in interpretation, insect production is now considered a legal form of food production and the pre-conditions and control activities specified in food legislation are applied to it. In order to produce and market insects for food use, the products must be safe to the consumers, good hygiene shall be observed in production, and accurate and adequate information must be provided in labelling, for example. The possibility of insect proteins causing an allergic reaction shall be addressed.

According to plans, only the use of farm-raised, whole insects will be authorised in Finland. Whole insects can also be chopped and ground, but no parts may be removed and no ingredients isolated or extracted from them. Evira will compile a list of species of insects suitable for use as food. The insect products available in the market at present as, for example, kitchen ornaments, may not be marketed as food, because their production has not been controlled in accordance with food legislation and it has not been possible to verify their safety.

More information will be updated on Evira's website as new guidance becomes available. Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira will provide training during the autumn to food control officers and food business operators.

For more information, please contact:
Riina Keski-Saari, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 303 2384, riina.keski-saari@evira.fi
Sanna Viljakainen, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 464 9354, sanna.viljakainen@evira.fi

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