The annual report 2008 on the control of the food chain has been published


<p>Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira has submitted to the Commission the annual report on the control of the whole food chain from the farm to the fork for 2008. Arti-cle 44 of the Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 (the so-called control regulation) of the European community requires the Member States to submit an annual report on the realisation of a multi-annual national control plan.</p>

For the annual report, information was collected from the authorities taking part in the control of the food chain on the realisation of the control plans and on the success of the controls in their field. The information was analysed by Evira and was used for the compilation of reports specific to each of the control sectors. Based on the sector-specific reports the summaries of the assessments of the realisation of the controls were compiled for the annual report per activity, which are food safety, animal health and welfare and plant production and health.

The goals set for the control were reached quite satisfactorily in Finland. There were no significant special situations related to feed and food safety or animal health and welfare in 2008. In order to safeguard the high level of the controls, it will be necessary to ensure sufficient resources for all competent authorities and to maintain the good co-ordination of the activities and the co-operation between the relevant authorities.

As a whole, the assessment and reporting process of the realisation of the control plan became more effective based on the experience from the reporting of the previous year and the feedback from the Commission. The report contains the assessment of the results of the control and its re-alisation, and the needs for development and development measures arising from it create for their part an excellent basis for the continual improvement of the operations throughout the whole con-trol chain.

The annual report can be read in its entirety (in Finnish) on Evira’s internet pages: > Elintarvikkeet > Valvonta ja yrittäjät > Valvonnan ohjaus ja raportointi

The allocation of the fees collected from the controls to finance control resources requires action by the municipalities

Since 2006 in food control, as well as in environmental health, it has been required by law to col-lect fees from establishments to cover the costs incurred by the controls. With the assistance of the fees, the municipalities should ensure that they have sufficient resources to carry out the controls. In conjunction with the annual report the situation regarding the collection and allocation of control fees for the municipal food controls was clarified. According to the report, not all the municipalities had collected the full control fees in 2008. In addition most municipalities reported that the col-lected fees were not used for environmental health and it has not been possible for them to rectify the lack of human resources by using the fees. The fees collected amounted to nearly 2.4 million euros in 2008.

Evira has sent a letter to the municipalities, in which it expresses concern over the situation with the resourcing by the municipalities and over the fact that the legal intention to collect fee incomes has not been completely realised. Based on Evira’s assessments, there have been deficiencies regarding the resourcing of municipal food controls for more than ten years. In Finland the situation with the controls is rather good, but the risk of it falling apart will increase if all of the objects sub-ject to control can not be inspected regularly. In 2008 only about a half of the food premises were inspected and only 56 % of the planned controls could be carried out.

For additional information:
Head of Unit Ulla Poutiainen-Lindfors, tel. +358 50 575 2387 (17.7 and from 29.7.)
Head of Unit Kyösti Siponen, tel. +358 50 386 8412
Senior Officer Pirjo Vastamäki tel. +358 400 767 409 (20. - 26.7.)
Senior Officer Juha Kieksi, tel. +358 40 849 8316 (27. - 28.7.)


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