EFSA issues guidance on the collection of national food consumption data

EFSA has issued guidance on methods and procedures to be followed when collecting national data on food consumption. This document will contribute to the harmonisation of data collection on dietary intake at a European level. The publication of the document is a first and important step towards the preparation of a Pan-European Food Consumption Survey “What’s on the Menu in Europe?” (EU Menu). EFSA proposes to launch the implementation of the data collection phase of this project with the first 5 Member States in 2012.

The Survey will address the need for detailed and harmonised food consumption data, which are essential for improving the accuracy and reliability of the exposure estimates and, consequently, of the risk assessments carried out by EFSA Panels as well as by other experts across Europe.

The Guidance has been endorsed by the Expert group on Food Consumption Data, a network comprising representatives of all Member States set up by EFSA in 2007 to address the absence of such comparable data at European level.