On 16 May 2017, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung – BfR) released an updated and revised version of its EU Food Safety Almanac on its website. The English language version can be accessed here.

The EU Food Safety Almanac contains profiles on the current legal frameworks on food and feed safety of the EU, its Member States as well as 10 neighbouring European countries.

This 4th edition reflects the status of summer 2016 whereas 38 countries are featured. The EU Food Safety Almanac is periodically issued in German, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Chinese language. The recently released 4th edition is, however, only available in English, so far. Translations in the other languages will follow in due course.

The publication identifies the most relevant statutes as well as the competent official institutions for food and feed safety on a Community as well as on a Member State (or other country respectively) level. It provides an overview of the structure and cooperation of the institutions involved in food and feed safety and also briefly summarizes the activities and responsibilities of each institution. The EU Food Safety Almanac provides a good initial outline of the country specific structures in the field of food and feed safety, in particular with regard to issues like risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. It also allows for a comparison between the single countries showing a different approach – some countries e.g. tend to spread responsibilities among different institutions whereas other countries have a more centralized approach.

Because of its clarity and comprehensibility, the EU Food Safety Almanac is an excellent tool for non-professionals as well as for professionals working in the food and feed business in order to identify the competent authorities and receiving a basic synopsis of the national framework of each Member State.