Sweden tightening food safety

Sweden tightening food safety

The various bodies responsible for overseeing food safety in Sweden through the production cycle are to work together on a new initiative to try to improve standards in the country.

The initiative brings together efforts of regulators and enforcement bodies "from the farm to the table", the Livsmedelsverket – Sweden's National Food Agency – said. Through the initiative the NFA will coordinate its efforts to improve food safety with the Jordbruksverket (the Swedish Board of Agriculture), the SVA (the National Veterinary Institute) and the Surgeon General. 

The goal is to protect human and animal health and protect consumers, Annica Sohlström, acting director general of the NFA said. 

The authorities have identified four "priority areas" where cooperation can be strengthened. These include: coordinated and effective control; strengthened emergency management; quicker action on the EU's views on Swedish policy and more efficient monitoring of food and animal controls. 

Together, the authorities can act on risks throughout the food chain, creating and using common strategies, make joint efforts and help address the EU's concerns on the Swedish control, the agency explained. 

Jordbruksverket's director general, Leif Denneberg, suggested that the initiative also has the potential to improve the competitiveness of Swedish food businesses internationally. "Better collaboration" and "holistic approach" increases the efficiency and quality of the food chain, he continued.