Food Safety: Traceability, Hygiene and Control

Food safety is a key issue in EU food legislation. The General Food Law is the legislative framework regulation for food safety in the EU. To guarantee food safety and to allow appropriate action in cases of unsafe food, food products must be traceable throughout the entire supply chain and risks of contamination must be limited. An important aspect to control food safety hazards is defining critical control points (HACCP) by implementing food management principles. Another important aspect is subjecting food products to official controls. Products that are not considered safe will be denied access to the EU.

Control of Food Imported to the EU

In the event of repeated non-compliance of specific products originating from particular countries can only be imported under stricter conditions such as having to be accompanied with a health certificate and analytical test report. Products from countries that have shown repeated non-compliance are put on a list included in the Annex of Regulation (EC) 669/2009. At the moment frozen and dried fruits and vegetables (pesticide residues) and groundnuts (aflatoxin) from different countries (e.g. Brazil, India, Ghana, Thailand) are on the list.


  • Search in the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) database to see examples of withdrawals from the market and the reasons behind these withdrawals.
  • EU buyers will often ask buyers to implement a food (safety) management system based on HACCP-principles (see under Common requirements).
  • Read more about HACCP and health control in the EU Export Helpdesk
  • To help you answer key questions about health control refer to the guidance document of the EU.
  • Check if there are any increased levels of controls for your product and country. The list is updated regularly. Check the website of EUR-Lex for the most recent list (see under Amended by).
  • Read more about health control in the EU Export Helpdesk.
  • Check the Botswana Certification Bodies at BOBS