The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has initiated Focal Points in the Member States to act as an interface between EFSA and the different national food safety authorities, research institutes, consumers and other EFSA-related stakeholders. The Focal Points ensure the exchange of food safety information between EFSA and national stakeholders through a national network.
EFSA is the keystone of European Union food and feed safety risk assessment. In close collaboration with national authorities and in open consultation with its stakeholders, EFSA provides independent scientific advice and clear communication on existing and emerging risks.
EFSA is connected with national food safety authorities via the EFSA Advisory Forum (AF). Through the AF, Member States advise EFSA on scientific matters as well on EFSA’s work programme and priorities.
The AF also helps address emerging risk issues as early as possible.
The main benefits anticipated from this cooperation includes the sharing of the burden of risk assessments, easy access to expertise not available at home and, in general, making the most efficient use of sparse and finite resources.
Maltese Focal Point of EFSA
In Malta, the Focal Point of the European Food Safety Authority is the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA).
What is the role of the Focal Point?
The role of the Focal Point is to act as a collaborative centre in Malta with the primary responsibility to support the Maltese representative of the Advisory Forum in gathering data and transferring information between EFSA and relevant bodies in Malta, which include risk managers, national authorities, stakeholders and research institutes in the fields of risk assessments on food and feed safety, animal and plant health, animal welfare and nutrition, and in communications in these areas.
The tasks for the Focal Point in supporting the Advisory Forum member of Malta shall be as follows:
We would like to inform you that on 26 June 2019, EFSA published the 2017 European Union report on pesticide residues in food:
Please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any enquiries.
Animal Health and Welfare
EFSA was awarded by the annual Ombudsman Award for Good Administration 2019 – section Excellence through collaboration for the initiatives and projects it carried out, in particular the EFSA’s MUST-B project and the EU Bee Partnership.
The link to the dedicated EFSA news story where you can also find out more about the bee health projects is the following:
Public Consultation - Research and Innovation
As per request of the European Commission, we are pleased to announce the launch of the public consultation on the Orientations towards the first Strategic Plan implementing Horizon Europe, the next EU R&I Framework Programme. This consultation focuses in particular on the pillar “Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness” and its six thematic clusters.
The inputs received via the consultation will inform the work to prepare a “Strategic Plan” for the first four years of Horizon Europe (2021-2024), which will then guide the related work programmes and calls for proposals. Overall, the consultation will help identify impacts, spark debate and new ideas.
The outcome of this consultation will initially contribute to set the scene of the European Research and Innovation Days, taking place in Brussels from 24 to 26 September 2019.
Please note that this consultation will close on 8 September 2019.
The links to the dedicated websites where you can find more information on this public consultation and on the policy Conference are the following:
Consultation: Horizon Europe Co-design 2021-2024
Orientations document: CO-DESIGN VIA WEB OPEN CONSULTATION Summer 2019
Policy Conference: European Research and Innovation Days
Training course in health risk assessment
Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet offers the following course in autumn 2019:
Novel methods and approaches in health risk assessment, November 18-22, 2019.
The course is intended for PhD students and other participants from academia as well as participants from authorities and industry.
Application deadline: 13 September 2019
Course ”Risk-Benefit Assessment in Foods: methods for quantifying health effects”
The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark is organising a course on Risk- Benefit Assessment in Foods.
The Risk Benefit research group at DTU Food will organise their highly successful course ”Risk-Benefit Assessment in Foods: methods for quantifying health effects” 5 – 14 November 2019, at Lyngby campus in Denmark.
The full time eight day PhD-course has a multidisciplinary focus, including nutrition, toxicology and microbiology, and will teach the participants how the combined health risks and benefits associated with food intake can be assessed and quantified.
International PhD students and other interested researchers are welcome to join the course. The course description can be found here. There is a fee of 750 DKK (about 100 euro) for PhD students from EU/EEA countries, for other participants, the course fee is 6750 DKK (about 900 euro). Registration deadline is 1 October 2019
For more information and registration, please contact Maarten Nauta, senior scientist at the Risk-Benefit Research Group, email@example.com.
EFSA Third Scientific Conference
We are glad to inform you that the special issue of the EFSA Journal on the EFSA Conference 2018 - Science, Food, Society is now available for consultation and download.
The link to the dedicated EFSA Journal webpage is the following:
Data Visualisation Products
We would like to remind you that EFSA has developed several tools to graphically display data. One of these is the interactive tool explaining the main issues and concepts within chemical mixtures through graphics and animations. The tool complements the guidance on harmonised methods for assessing risks from combined exposure to multiple chemicals for humans, animals and the environment.
Please follow the link to the tool: Chemical Mixtures Interactive Infographic
Call for laboratories to participate in proficiency tests on microplastics in drinking water and sediments
We are pleased to inform you that the Joint Research Centre (JRC), together with the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), is launching a call for expert laboratories, to participate in the proficiency tests on specific microplastics in water (bottled water, drinking water) and polyethylene in sediments.
We would like to inform you that the deadline for the interested expert laboratories to express their interest for participating is 1 September 2019.
Please follow the link to the relevant website where you can also find the JRC contact email: Call for laboratories to participate in proficiency tests on microplastics in drinking water and sediments
Tripartite Zoonoses Guide Surveillance and Information Sharing Operational Toolkit Development Landscape Survey
The Tripartite (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Health Organization (WHO)) and partners are developing a set of operational tools to accompany the newly released “Taking A Multisectoral, One Health Approach: A Tripartite Guide to Addressing Zoonotic Diseases in Countries”. These operational tools aim to guide countries in establishing a coordinated national surveillance system for zoonotic diseases, including mechanisms for data sharing between all relevant sectors.
To do this, the Tripartite is seeking to identify any existing tools or resources (please see below for in-depth description of tools and resources) that may assist countries in doing so. Because of your expertise in the field of surveillance, we are hoping to gain your insight.
Please follow this link to a brief survey form, where we ask that you share information on any relevant tools or resources of which you may be aware. These may include, for example, templates and mobile ‘apps’ for data collection, evaluation, and reporting; template data sharing agreements or standard operating procedures (SOP); and other resources which assist in completing any of the steps in establishing a coordinated zoonotic disease surveillance system, which can be found in the table below. Your responses to this survey will allow the Tripartite to identify existing tools and resources, as well as identify gaps where additional tool or resource development is needed.
If you are a developer of a tool, we would like to invite you to submit your tool for consideration for inclusion in the operational toolkit.
The survey will close on the 15 September 2019.
If you would like further information on the project, please see the linked information sheet.
If you have any questions, please contact SISOT-TAWG@fao.org.
The kinds of tools we are seeking: Tools or resources that assist with any of the following steps in establishing a national surveillance system for zoonotic diseases:
For more detailed information on these activities, please visit: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1D5KJZ4u7lV2suz_8yY-bPyBDjOK1UwwNdVErvjX-7HE/edit?usp=sharing
Examples of relevant tools or resources (not all inclusive)
1. Determine which priority zoonotic diseases should be included for coordinated surveillance
1. Infrastructure mapping
2. Stakeholder mapping
3. Surveillance assessment/evaluation
4. Laboratory assessment
5. Workforce assessment
6. IT and informatics assessment
7. Economic assessment
1. Define networks and partnerships for coordinated, multisectoral One Health surveillance system
2. Determine surveillance strategy and objectives for the coordinated surveillance system
3. Define actions according to the objectives identified for the coordinated surveillance system
4. Ensure all relevant legal frameworks, agreements and procedures necessary for implementing the coordinated surveillance system are in place
5. Identify resources needed for implementation of defined activities
6. Set up a monitoring and evaluation system for coordinated surveillance
7. Update/Establish multisectoral, surveillance plan for implementation of the coordinated surveillance system
Data sharing agreement templates
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
1. Mapping out a coordinated surveillance system from multisectoral One Health activities
2. Establish coordinated specimen transportation, storage and management
3. Establish coordinated laboratory testing
4. Establish data sharing mechanisms for the coordinated surveillance system
5. Establish data collection mechanisms for the coordinated surveillance system
6. Implement data management, analysis and interpretation for the coordinated surveillance system
7. Implement mechanisms for data notification and reporting
Event Mobile Application (EMA-i App)
Monitoring and Evaluation
1. Conduct Monitoring and Evaluation of the coordinated surveillance system
2. Conduct monitoring and evaluation of data sharing within the coordinated surveillance system
3. Provide feedback on monitoring and evaluation results and communication among stakeholders
Templates of measurable performance indicators for internal evaluation
EFSA Grant - Call for proposals - Framework Art.36 of Reg. (EC) 178/2002 - Plant Health
We would like to inform you that the following Call for Proposals (grant) is published on the EFSA website: Call for proposals reference: GP/EFSA/ALPHA/2019/01 - Entrusting support tasks in the area of Plant health - Commodity risk assessment for High Risk Plants.
This call for proposals aims to identify organisations for which tasks falling within the plant health mission of the Animal & Plant Health Unit can be entrusted by EFSA. In particular, these tasks regard the commodity risk assessment and/or assessment of commodity treatments for the evaluation of the technical dossiers sent by Third Countries for High Risk Plants.
For your kind information, the deadline for submission of proposals is 30 September 2019.
Please follow the link to the dedicated webpage:
EFSA Grant – Plant Health: GP/EFSA/ALPHA/2019/01
Tasking Grants: General concept
New Job Opportunities in EFSA
We would like to inform you that EFSA has recently published several new calls.
EFSA is facing an exciting time as it is preparing for the implementation of the revised General Food Law. EFSA will grow considerably over the next few years and in view of this, the first batch of calls to establish reserve lists of suitable candidates to help carry EFSA forward has been launched.
Are you interested in contributing to the future of science and play a role in EFSA’s readiness for the future, make sure you consider these opportunities and/or spread the word within your network.
Please follow the direct links to all the latest vacancies in EFSA:
Deadline for applications is 10 September 2019.
For any further questions, kindly contact EFSA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public consultation: chlorinated paraffins in food and feed
We would like to inform you that EFSA is seeking feedback from interested parties on its scientific opinion about the risks to human and animal health related to the presence of chlorinated paraffins in food and feed.
The deadline for submitting comments is 17 September 2019.
Please follow the link to the public consultation with the related documents to submit comments: chlorinated paraffins in food and feed.
Invitation workshop "Physicochemical characterization of nano-sized particles in food
Please find hereunder the invitation for a workshop on “Physicochemical characterization of nano-sized particles in food” that will take place on 19th and 20th September in Belgium.
The workshop is organized by Sciensano - the Belgian institute for health.
Scope of the Workshop:
The second day is technical/practical but it is possible to register only for the first day.
Registration is free.
Opening of registration for the PPR OPEN Plenary meeting 2-3 October 2019
We would like to inform you that the registration to observe the Open Plenary of the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues is now open on the EFSA website.
The meeting will take place in Parma, Italy, on 2-3 October 2019. The deadline for attending in person or following the event online is 13 September 2019.
Please follow the link to the event with further information and the related agenda: 101st Plenary meeting of the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR) - open for observers