Data collection, standardisation and analysis

Data are the "ingredients" of scientific assessments.

The collection of accurate, up-to-date and comparable data is a prerequisite for informed risk assessment and for risk management decisions:

  • By collecting data from European countries and other sources we can determine, for example, which foods are contaminated with bacteria or chemicals and at what levels. This information, combined with reliable information on food consumption, enables risk assessors to calculate consumer exposure to a certain hazard.
  • Collecting EU-wide data also makes it possible to monitor the effectiveness of food safety programmes, such as the EU-wide effort to reduce the incidence of Salmonella in chickens.

EFSA carries out two types of data collection activities:

  • Ongoing collection of harmonised EU-wide data to assess and monitor trends over time and support risk management measures.
  • Specific collections to support risk assessments and other tasks.

The main areas in which we collect data are:

EFSA’s Data Warehouse gives access to summary statistics. The data are accessible through tables, reports, graphs, maps and dashboards, which are updated regularly. You can also find a list of data providers.

Standardisation

To provide a common link to all the diverse food and feed databases used by European countries, EFSA has developed a food classification system – FoodEx2 – that standardises the identification and characterisation of food and feed items.