Boosting Bulgaria's food safety system
To ensure food safety all the way from the field to the plate, a sophisticated system of risk assessment, risk management and risk communication is needed. "Considering it is a relatively new member of the European Union, Bulgaria has made great efforts in this area", said the President of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. The comment was made on the occasion of the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture and the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency (BGFSA). "We strive to constantly improve our food safety system. I am confident that this cooperation with the BfR will help us achieve this goal", added Bulgaria's Minister of Agriculture and Food, Vassil Groudev. Initially, the cooperation will focus mainly on a project to safeguard the quality of raw milk which is produced by small companies in Bulgaria’s mountainous regions. A further goal is to intensify cooperation with reference laboratories in Bulgaria.
Signing of the cooperation agreement
Those present on the occasion, from left to right: Prof. Wittkowski (Vice President of the BfR), Prof. Hensel (BfR President), Vice Minister Marina Brakalova (Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture), Prof. Mollov (Head of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, BFSA), Ms. Jasmina Mircheva (Head of the International Relations Department, BFSA ) and Mr Yanko Ivanov (Chief Veterinary Officer, BFSA
The raw milk produced by small companies in mountainous regions does not, as yet, fully comply with the quality standards of the European Union, meaning that it can be sold only in Bulgaria. The goal of the project is to enable even these small companies to reach quality standards in their production of raw milk which meet the requirements of the European Union. After all, they make a significant contribution to supplying the Bulgarian population with milk and dairy products.
Another project focuses on expanding Bulgaria’s modern and efficient laboratory structures for testing and monitoring products along the food chain, i.e. from the field to the plate of the consumer. The BfR will contribute to this optimisation through jointly organised workshops and training sessions.
About the BfR
The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientific institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.