The food consumption data collected by EFSA play a key role in the evaluation of the risks related to possible hazards in food in the European Union (EU) and allows estimates of consumers’ exposure to such hazards, a fundamental step in EFSA’s risk assessment work. EFSA’s scientists are constantly developing the food consumption data available to support food safety risk assessment.
Concise food consumption database
The EFSA Concise European Food Consumption Database , published in 2008, gathered data on food consumption for adults in Europe according to broad categories. These data can be used for exposure screening. It served as a basis for developing the Comprehensive Food Consumption Database.
Comprehensive food consumption database
The EFSA Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database is a source of information on food consumption across the EU. It provides detailed information for a number of EU countries in refined food categories and specific population groups, also partly covering children. Summary statistics from the database enable quick screening for chronic and acute exposure to substances that may be found in the food chain. Its information is also publicly available.
For certain specific food categories, particularly those related to regulated products, EFSA makes summary statistics of human consumption data available to applicants to assist them in carrying out exposure assessments. These assessments typically form part of an applicant’s dossier that is submitted to EFSA for safety evaluation prior to the product being authorised for placement on the EU market.
The EU Menu project aims at harmonising data collection on food consumption in Europe. The objective is to provide standardised information on what people eat in all countries and regions across the EU in detailed categories and including all population groups. It will allow more efficient and accurate overall exposure assessment in Europe and support risk managers in their decision making on food safety.