The new rules on hygiene of food production

The HACCP system has been a conscious economic impact throughout the supply chain, leaving out the primary production where the rules of good practice have been delegated to individual voluntary implementation of CMOs or worse. In the late nineties has outlined the need for regulatory clarification and simplification of legislation aimed at extending to all stages of production is the guarantee of security of European health policy and the market to regain consumer confidence. All this has been reflected in the statement of general principles of the White Paper on Food Safety (stressing the need for a policy for food safety based on sound science) and food safety tools contained in Regulation 178/02 EC, and finally with the entry into force of the "hygiene package". The "hygiene package" is designed to simplify and update legislation in the field of food hygiene, as the sector had already passed on with the introduction of CEE and self-control in almost all areas, but remained the 'need to extend it to the whole supply chain, including the farmers themselves and by providing a new break-in period for new entrants. The hygiene package contains four regulations:

  • Regulation (EC) n. 852/04 on the hygiene of foodstuffs;
  • Regulation (EC) n. 853/04 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin;
  • Regulation (EC) n. 854/04 laying down specific rules for the organization of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption;
  • Regulation (EC) n. 882/04 on official controls to verify compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare.

It 'important to note that the national transposition of the Directives repealed shall be deemed superseded by new regulations, only for the parts where the latter overlap the former regulatory framework.

At this point we indicate which rules are to be deleted in whole or in part:

  • Directive 93/43 EEC, which regulates the safety of the production process, implemented by our system with the Decree. 155/97 is to be repealed by Reg. 852/04;
  • Directive 89/397 EEC, which defines the general principles for official controls implemented by our law n. 123/93 was repealed by reg.882/04 EC.

Moreover, the European legislator has abolished through a Directive 2004/41 EC rules that are no longer necessary due to the coming into force of the "hygiene package". The novelty is evident immediately upon the entry into force of new legislation has extended the requirements of food safety in primary food production. This arises from the need to ensure security for the entire food chain from primary operators by imposing the minimum requirements of hygiene (listed in Annex I part A).

All business entities, the agricultural company who grow or raise livestock, up to the cold stores of large retailers, must be recognized and registered, which means that every company should adopt a code according to the complexity of the production cycle This is for systems; quite a leap in quality that not only sees them simply as producers but as key players hygiene and wholesomeness of their products.

Regulation (EC) n. 852/04 on food.

Item 1. Scope
This Regulation lays down general hygiene of foodstuffs for food business operators, particularly taking into account some principles:
• primary responsibility for food safety rests with the operator of the food industry; With the increased responsibilities of all enterprises obliged to take personal responsibility for all and totally sanitary production, comes the obligation of all enterprises (including agricultural and livestock) to adopt a plan of self-control. Therefore, it denotes a willingness to focus on the entrepreneur, his sense of responsibility, leaving the public to ensure that control and eliminate certain bureaucratic practices;
It is necessary to ensure food safety along the food chain, starting from food production;
It highlights the power of a more integrated view of supply chain, to one level of recognition Cee, greater flexibility, or to verify the correctness of the material to food production.
It is important to the maintenance of cold chain for foods that cannot be stored at room temperature in a safe condition, in particular for those frozen;
• The application of HACCP-based procedures, together with the application of good practices of hygiene, should increase the responsibilities of food business operators;
Guides to good practice are a valuable tool to help food business operators in accordance with the standards of hygiene at all levels of the food chain and application of HACCP-based principles;
• And 'necessary to establish microbiological policy and requirements for temperature control on scientific risk assessment;
• It 'need to ensure that imported foods are of at least the same hygiene standard as food produced in the Community, or equivalent standards.
This regulation applies to all stages of production, processing and distribution of food and to exports, and without prejudice to more scientific requirements relating to food hygiene.
Article 5 Hazard analysis and control points defines the principles of the HACCP system.
The method of 'HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) is aimed at preventing the causes of occurrence of food risks before they result in negative events, and in any case, to attach the appropriate corrective actions to minimize the health risks. In summary, one can define the principles:
• identification and analysis of potential risks to food in different stages of the production process;
• defining the tools necessary to neutralize the risks (through activation of the control procedures of processing steps that can harm hygiene products);
• assurance that these tools are implemented effectively (through the carrying-risk period for reviews, critical points and control procedures). Moreover, in the Regulation 852/04, there are attachments that define the general requirements, in particular Annex II presents the general requirements of hygiene applicable to all food business operators (other than primary production regulated by Annex I). Therefore we find the principles of food hygiene, personnel working, equipment used, etc. ... These principles will be taken up and explored in the reg. 853/04 for the hygiene of food of animal origin.

Regulation (EC) n. 853/2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin.
In the presentation of the Regulation specifies the goal that the EU has set itself:"The main aim of the reformulation of earlier legislation, is to ensure a high level of consumers with regard to product safety, in particular by making food business operators throughout the Community to the same standards, and ensure the proper functioning of market in products of animal origin, thus contributing to achieving the objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy. "The provisions of this Regulation complement the reg. 852/04.
Subsequent EU regulations 854/04 and 882/04 concerning the organization of official controls. And 'to confirm that the instrument becomes official control "certifying" the goodness of self-control and traceability system set up by companies. We will carry out targeted depending on the health risk of the use of valuation parameters with self hygiene, took samples of officers not random but targeted. Moreover, all these controls are at the expense of the manufacturer, and it becomes clear that it will use the most effective measures to lower the risk and hygiene - health of its production process, easing the public control and reducing costs.

We have summarized in a few pages the main aspects of the new legislation as it was impossible to summarize in a short space the new changes for each food. It is also worth considering that the new hygiene legislation will expand with more specific standards for individual food sectors.


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The HACCP system has been a conscious economic impact throughout the supply chain, leaving out the...