The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is the agency of the European Union (EU) that provides independent scientific advice and communicates on existing and emerging risks associated with the food chain. EFSA was established in February 2002, is based in Parma, Italy and had a budget for 2008 of €65.9 million.

The work of EFSA covers all matters with a direct or indirect impact on food and feed safety, including animal health and welfare, plant protection and plant health and nutrition. EFSA supports the European Commission, the European Parliament and EU member states in taking effective and timely risk management decisions that ensure the protection of the healthof European consumers and the safety of the food and feed chain. EFSA also communicates to the public in an open and transparent way on all matters within its remit.

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Published on: 8 September 2020

At the request of the European Commission, EFSA prepared the general guidelines for surveys of plant pests, describing the legal, international and scientific context in which the surveys are designed, the basic principles implemented for surveillance of quarantine pests and introducing the concepts needed for the design of statistically sound and risk‐based surveys. Three types of specific surveys are addressed: detection surveys for substantiation of pest freedom, delimiting surveys for determining the boundaries of an infested zone, and monitoring surveys for prevalence estimation when measuring the progress of eradication measures or for confirming a low pest prevalence area. For each survey, the survey parameters are introduced and their interactions analysed showing the importance of the assumptions that are taken for each one of them: (i) the aims of the survey are defined as the confidence of detectinga given pest prevalence(design prevalence), this reflects the trade‐off between the acceptable level of the risk and availability of resources that determine the strength of the evidence to support the conclusion of the survey;(ii) the target populationis addressed in terms of its structure and size,including the risk factors;and (iii) the method sensitivityis defined as the combination of the sampling effectiveness and the diagnostic sensitivity. EFSA's RiBESS+ tool is introduced for calculating the sample size using the survey parameters as input values for a statistically sound and risk‐based survey design. The mathematical principles behind the tool are in line with the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures. The survey design is flexible and can be tailored to each pest and specific situation in the Member States. Once the survey is implemented following this approach, the conclusions allow surveys to be compared across time and space, contributing to the harmonisation of surveillance activities across the EU Member States.

© European Food Safety Authority, 2015

General guidelines for statistically sound and risk‐based surveys of plant pests

Published on: 8 September 2020

CARF (“Ce Are Românul în Farfurie”) (“What the Romanians have in their Plate”) is the dietary survey carried out in Romania in order to collect food consumption data on representative samples of adolescents (356 subjects 10‐17 years old), adults (740 subjects 18‐64 years old), elderly (356 subjects 65‐74 years old) and ad hoc samples of pregnant women (142 subjects) and vegetarians (266 subjects). The study began in 2015 and was completed in 2020. Data on food consumption for over 1500 individuals for adolescents, adults, elderly, vegetarians and pregnant women was collected and obtained by means of two 24‐hour recall interviews covering two seasons and equally representing weekdays and weekends. The interview data was complemented by a Food Propensity Questionnaire in line with the EFSA “Guidance on the EU Menu Methodology”. The data will be included in the EFSA Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database. The software used for the collection of data was the CARF software. The weight and height if the participants were self‐reported. The participation rate was 72% (people who agreed to participate) and final response rate 59.6% (people who answered the second interview).The survey was funded through an EFSA procurement contract and included in the EU Menu Project. No major deviation from the EU Menu guidance or technical specifications was registered while implementing the survey.

© European Food Safety Authority, 2015

Romanian national food consumption survey for adolescents, adults and elderly

Online meeting 15 September 2020

EFSA annual exchange with registered business and food industry associations

The annual roundtable was open to registered business and food industry associations and saw a wide participation from the sector. Of the 70 registered industry associations, 25 participated, with four associations joining the roundtable for the first time.

There were discussions on a number of topics – ranging from administrative matters to scientific and communication issues – as well as a presentation from the European Commission on the Farm to Fork strategy.

EFSA presented briefings on the implementation of the EFSA catalogue of services, SME initiatives and the revised stakeholder engagement approach.

From the scientific side, EFSA gave updates on its upcoming food enzymes guidance and statement on health-based guidance values (HBGVs).

Participants also exchanged views on EFSA’s technical guidance on small particles and nanoparticles and its statement on whole genome sequence analysis of micro-organisms. The pilot project on plain language summaries was also presented.

EFSA will meet representatives of its registered industry associations again next year to continue improving dialogue and encourage mutual understanding of the various points of view.


List of Participants



Update on the EFSA catalogue of support initiatives during the life-cycle of applications for regulated products (M.Guidi - EFSA APDESK unit)

Short update on the revised EFSA Stakeholder engagement approach (G. Kumrić-  EFSA ENCO unit)

Update of the guidance on the submission of a dossier on Food Enzymes for safety evaluation (Y. Liu - FESA FIP unit)

Draft EFSA Statement on the derivation of Health-Based Guidance Values (HBGVs) for regulated products that are also nutrient (J. Tarazona- EFSA SCER unit)

Draft EFSA Guidance on technical requirements for regulated food and feed product applications to establish the presence of small particles including nanoparticles (J. Tarazona - EFSA SCER unit)

Draft EFSA statement on the requirements for whole genome sequence analysis of microorganisms intentionally used in the food chain (M. Anguita- EFSA FEED unit)

EC Farm to Fork strategy (R. Chehlarova - European Commission)

Plain Language Summaries: EFSA pilot project (A. Healy)


7th Roundtable with Industry Associations

Published on: 9 September 2020

According to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005, EFSA has reviewed the maximum residue levels (MRLs) currently established at European level for the pesticide active substance chlorantraniliprole. To assess the occurrence of chlorantraniliprole residues in plants, processed commodities, rotational crops and livestock, EFSA considered the conclusions derived in the framework of Commission Regulation (EU) No 188/2011, the MRLs established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission as well as the import tolerances and European authorisations reported by Member States (including the supporting residues data). Based on the assessment of the available data, MRL proposals were derived and a consumer risk assessment was carried out. Although no apparent risk to consumers was identified, some information required by the regulatory framework was missing. Hence, the consumer risk assessment is considered indicative only and some MRL proposals derived by EFSA still require further consideration by risk managers.

© European Food Safety Authority, 2015

Review of the existing maximum residue levels for chlorantraniliprole according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005

Published on: 10 September 2020

The conclusions of the EFSA following the peer review of the initial risk assessment carried out by the competent authority of the rapporteur Member State, Greece, for the pesticide active substance dithianon are reported. The context of the peer review was that requested by the European Commission following the submission and evaluation of confirmatory mammalian toxicology and residues data. The conclusions were reached on the basis of the evaluation of the representative uses of dithianon as a fungicide on table and wine grapes and on pome fruit. The reliable endpoints concluded as being appropriate for use in regulatory risk assessment, derived from the available studies and literature in the dossier peer reviewed, are presented. Concerns are identified.

© European Food Safety Authority, 2015

Updated peer review of the pesticide risk assessment for the active substance dithianon in light of confirmatory data submitted