Guidance on the EU Menu methodology
The availability of detailed, harmonised and high-quality food consumption data for use in dietary exposure assessments is a long-term objective of EFSA. In 2009, the EFSA guidance on “General principles for the collection of national food consumption data in the view of a pan-European dietary survey” was published, and a pan-European food consumption survey, also known as the “EU Menu”, was launched. Based on the 2009 EFSA guidance, two EU Menu feasibility pilot studies and two methodological projects, EFSA has updated the former guidance document to cover the EU Menu methodology and therefore facilitate the collection of more harmonised food consumption data from all European Union Member States by the year 2020. This guidance has been developed by the EFSA Evidence Management Unit (DATA) and the EU Menu Working Group with Advisory Function, and has been endorsed by the EFSA Network on Food Consumption Data. It provides recommendations for the collection of more harmonised food consumption data among the EU Member States for use in dietary exposure assessments of food-borne hazards and nutrient intake estimations under the remit of EFSA’s scientific panels. Food consumption information should be collected for two non-consecutive days. The 24-hour food diary method, followed by a computer-assisted personal or telephone interview (CAPI/CATI), should be used to collect data from infants and children. For all other age groups, the 24-hour dietary recall CAPI/CATI method should be used. The reported foods should be described in accordance with the EFSA FoodEx2 food classification system. A short food propensity questionnaire should be used to collect information on the consumption of some less frequently eaten foods and the consumption frequencies of food supplements. Information on the weight, height and physical activity levels of participants should also be collected in the survey.