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Survey highlights thoughts on food safety in Germany


Half of Germans think that food bought in the country is safe, according to a survey.

Consumers mostly rate the safety of food purchased in Germany as high, found a survey by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). Only 15 percent said it was not safe or not safe at all.

The poll is done every six months and the latest findings involved 1,001 people in early August.

Almost 40 percent said food safety in the country is increasing, 36 percent said it remained the same, and a quarter thought it was decreasing. The number of people saying the food was unsafe and who think food safety is falling rose slightly from a previous survey edition.

From a list of topics, people were most familiar with genetically modified food and microplastics in food. Half knew about Listeria and a quarter about Campylobacter.

Almost two-thirds were concerned about microplastics but only one in five were worried about Listeria and 12 percent about Campylobacter.

People felt most well-informed about food hygiene at home. Only 11 percent said they were very informed about Listeria in food and 7 percent about Campylobacter.

“The BfR consumer monitor proves that confidence in the safety of food and products of everyday consumption is high overall. This contradicts the widespread assumption that consumers are largely distrustful,” said BfR president Andreas Hensel.

Tunisian and Moroccan work
Meanwhile, German and Tunisian officials met in October to simulate a foodborne outbreak.

Efforts are part of BfR and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food (BVL) support to Tunisia in a project to help the African nation implement its food safety law of 2019.

About 50 Tunisian representatives met in Tunis for a practical test of the crisis management system. The BVL and BfR were involved with the Tunisian food safety agency (INSSPA) and risk management authority (ANCSEP).

German agencies adapted the exercise to circumstances in Tunisia and shared knowledge on crisis preparedness, outbreak response, and crisis communication.

The BfR said consumers outside Tunisia also benefit because, with the increasing globalization of the supply chain, local foodborne outbreaks can spread across borders and to multiple countries.

BVL is also holding an event in December to share approaches and tools for outbreak investigation, using examples of incidents in Germany.

The free workshop in Berlin on Dec. 7 and 8 includes speakers from federal and state authorities. Participants will receive up-to-date information on Listeria, viral pathogens, and new typing techniques for outbreak detection.

Finally, officials from BfR and the Moroccan Food Safety Authority (ONSSA) discussed risk assessment during a meeting earlier this month.

Morocco is an important trading partner for Germany and an agreement between the two agencies was signed in 2021.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)

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