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Food and Consumer Products

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Boy in store © Pavel Losevsky #11630871 – FotoliaThe safety and quality of food and consumer products are of primary concern of consumers, producers and regulators.

EU legislation is in place to ensure that the products we buy and the food we eat are safe. This legislation relies upon the scientific support of the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) to ensure it is properly implemented.

Provision of tools for testing is a key part of the process and scientists at the Institute are engaged in verifying the chemical safety of food and consumer products. They are for example involved in developing solid analytical methods to check that food packaging materials and kitchen utensils provide the required levels of consumer protection and safety.

Following the provisions of EU Regulation EC/882/2004, the European Reference Laboratory on Food Contact Materials (EURL-FCM), hosted by the IHCP, provides National Reference Laboratories in the EU member States with reference methods, also coordinating their application. As a European centre of expertise, the EURL-FCM provides scientific and technical support to the European Commission in the formulation, development, implementation and monitoring of EU legislation on food contact materials.

The Institute also hosts the European Office for Wine, Alcohol and Spirit Drinks (BEVABS) and develops analytical methods for checking the authenticity of European wines. It is also involved in the verification of textile fibre and labelling.

The Institute’s scientific resources are used by various European Commission departments (health and consumers, agriculture, environment, enterprise, taxation and customs), as well as the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and national reference laboratories.

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