Substainable food security - FoodSafety4EU



FOODSAFETY4EU is a project focused to design, develop and release a multi-stakeholder platform for the future European Food Safety System (FSS), by structuring a participatory process, which sustains a responsive and adaptive community of FSS actors. New digital tools, co-designed strategies and communication models will support Food Safety Authorities, EU Agencies, policy makers, scientists and civil society in a coordinate approach, thus contributing to strengthen the EU approach to risk assessment & communication.

Project description

Food safety is imperative for health, social, and economic reasons. The current EU food safety legal framework is based on evidence and risk analysis, however it is not yet enough quickly adaptive to undertake issues arising from the food sector dynamics (i.e. sustainable production). In addition, the different food safety actors in Europe have no integrated platform, to encourage a regular interaction and enable their concerted input in creating and maintaining a Food Safety System (FSS) for tomorrow. This FSS of tomorrow must be adaptive, iterative and proactive, even potentially predictive: the FOODSAFETY4EU approach stresses piloting some food safety strategies and fostering their evolution through the validation of results by the same Food Safety actors who feed the platform. Cooperation and structured interaction are also the basis to propose and experiment new schemes to advance the FSS from a reactive system to an interactive one, and move it from risk communication to food safety information, communication and engagement, towards the public sphere. FOODSAFETY4EU will co-design new schemes to be proposed to EU institutions for their further adoption.

The multi-actor consortium is pooled by a core group of 23 partners (Beneficiaries) from 12 countries: scientific experts in food safety will work closely with key actors with complementary knowledge in: a) developing and structuring of participatory processes; b) stakeholders engagement, communication and networking; c) e-platforms, smart tools, data management; d) Food Safety policies implementation; e) representing the voices from food industry, consumers and the civil society. A network of other 44 Food Safety actors are committed to populate the platform and interact by expressing opinions, sharing information, data and reports; providing strategy advice and assuring a multiplier impact of project results.


These are the objectives of FoodSafety4EU:

  • Structure a participatory process to build a responsive and adaptive community of FSS actors
  • Promote Research & Innovation (R&I) and policy coherence through the facilitation of dialogue within and between different levels of the R&I policy landscape (regional, national and EU)
  • Exploit synergies and capabilities between countries and regions
  • Provide guidance for modifying and aligning joint trans-national research programs and national research agendas, establishing priorities based on the new FSS research policy framework
  • Co-create and propose a new, coherent and more effective Food Safety Strategic Research Agenda for Europe according to the harmonized policy framework
  • Improve the communication of the risk assessment process
  • Develop innovative approaches to inform/engage civil society about the FSS mainstream, values, strategy and R&I results to address consumers' concerns on transparency
  • Foster new schemes to guarantee open access to the available resources (i.e. data, inventories, individual roadmaps, projects outputs, laboratories)

Role of Ghent University

Ghent University is leader of one of the 4 Food Safety hubs, which work as decentralized nodes to catalyze the main experts of the relevant local areas and create the basis to feed a multi-actor discussion, driving them into the participatory process, thus contributing to engage and mobilize FSS actors in the platform. Moreover, Ghent University will contribute in several work packages by providing scientific input in the fields of food safety, policy, digital platform optimization, research funding and innovation, risk assessment and risk communication.




Prof. dr. Sarah De Saeger
Centre of Excellence in Mycotoxicology and Public Health
Phone number: +32 9 264 81 37