The EFSA Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database
The Comprehensive Food Consumption Database is a source of information on food consumption across the European Union (EU). It contains detailed data for a number of EU countries. The database plays a key role in the evaluation of the risks related to possible hazards in food in the EU and allows estimates of consumers’ exposure to such hazards, a fundamental step in EFSA’s risk assessment work. The database will also be relevant in future for other fields of EFSA’s work, such as the assessment of nutrient intakes of the EU population.
EFSA used its food classification system ‘FoodEx’ to categorise all foods and beverages included in the Comprehensive Database.
- Evaluation of the FoodEx, the food classification system applied to the development of the EFSA Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database
Summary statistics from the database ena ble quick screening for chronic and acute exposure to substances and organisms that may be found in the food chain. In the database, dietary surveys and food consumption data for each country are divided by category. These include: age, from infants to adults aged 75 years or older; food group (over 1,500) and type of consumption, covering both regular and high consumption thus allowing calculations to be tailored to each category of consumer.
The statistics on food consumption are reported in grams per day (g/day) and grams per day per kg of body weight (g/kg bw per day). The statistics for chronic food consumption are available for the total population (‘all subjects’) and for consumers of respective food categories. The statistics for acute consumption are available for all days and for the consuming days.
These food consumption statistics are stored on the EFSA Data Warehouse .
The main information concerning the methodologies used in each of the dietary surveys included in the Comprehensive Database is presented in an interactive report (pdf). Statistics are also available as reusable data files (xls contained in zip files).
(To view pdf files, download and open in Adobe Reader)
- Survey Details (3.3 Mb)
Chronic food consumption statistics in grams per day* (g/day)
Chronic food consumption statistics in grams per day per kilogram of body weight* (g/kg bw per day)
Acute food consumption statistics in grams per day* (g/day)
Acute food consumption statistics in grams per day per kilogram of body weight* (g/kg bw per day)
Previous work on food consumption
In 2008 EFSA published its Concise Database that gathered data on food consumption for adults in Europe. Data were elaborated at country level according to both broad categories (e.g. milk and dairy-based products) and subcategories (e.g. cheese). It served as a starting point for EFSA to develop the EFSA Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database that provides information in more refined food categories and specific population groups.
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.
*Calculation of these statistics
Several algorithms exist to calculate percentiles and each type of software allows different implementations for the calculation of these descriptive statistics. Please be aware that the percentiles presented in this page have been calculated using Oracle function “percentile_disc”. The results provided may therefore slightly differ with respect to those presented in other EFSA documents where the calculation was done using different software (e.g. SAS or R).
Percentiles have been calculated and presented also when a low number of observations was available, please be aware that the estimates may not be statistically robust in these cases.