The Commission is required, in close cooperation with EFSA and Member States, to prepare a general plan for crisis management in the area of food and feed safety. The general plan must specify the types of situation involving direct or indirect risks to human health deriving from food and feed which are not likely to be prevented, eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level by existing arrangements or cannot adequately be managed solely by way of emergency measures.
Hazards and Crisis Management
Emergency measures may be taken under Articles 53 and 54 of Regulation (EC) 178/2002, Article 9 of Directive 89/662/EEC and Article 22 of Directive 97/78/EC. The domestic regulations which implement these measures are: Regulation 35 of the Products of Animal Origin (Import and Export) Regulations 1996, Regulation 61 of the Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (England) Regulations 2006, Regulation 33 of the Official Feed and Food Control (England) Regulations 2007 and Section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972.
The UK operates a system of food alerts and at a European level there is the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).
The definition of a food and a feed incident. Classification as localised, serious localised or non-localised food hazard. Deliberate contamination and malicious tampering of food. Action to be taken by a food authority - assessment to be undertaken - urgent control measures - identification of lead authority. Press statements.
Investigating and managing incidents to ensure food safety is a key part of the work of the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The FSA publishes the Incident Response Protocol which defines a food incident as follows:
An incident is any event where, based on the information available, there are concerns about actual or suspected threats to the safety or quality of food and/or feed that could require intervention to protect consumers’ interests.