Food safety: health checks in question

DECRYPTION – After the bacterial contamination linked to Buitoni pizzas and Kinder eggs, are the inspections sufficient to protect consumers? The weight of the verifications rests above all on the manufacturers.

The work is titanic. More than 47 billion products come out of agri-food factories every year to be consumed in France, not counting restaurants or short circuits. “Impossible to verify them all”, insists a laboratory specializing in food controls. On the state side, nine authorities are competent and 5,800 full-time equivalent agents carry out checks, indicates the National Multi-Annual Official Control Plan. But the distribution of powers “lacks clarity and turns out to be (…) a source of great complexityregretted in 2018 a parliamentary inquiry report on the Lactalis affair. The administrations work efficiently, but each on their own, which leads to significant inefficiencies in the system taken as a whole.

Thus, with each hazard or scandal, questions arise about the solidity of the food control system in France. First, because the forces present in the ministries tend…

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