EFSA expands food consumption database
The food consumption database is said to play a key role in the evaluation of the risks related to possible hazards in food, allowing estimates of consumers’ exposure to such hazards.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has expanded its food consumption database with a new set of data collected under the EU Menu project.
The aim of the EU Menu project is to gather high-quality, harmonised data from member states, covering all age groups from three months to 74 years. Standardising the way data is collected is said to make the information easier to compare and improves the quality of the risk assessments carried out by EFSA that rely on dietary information.
The new release includes nine additional dietary surveys carried out in six countries – Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, the Netherlands and Slovenia. The surveys provide new information in all age groups covered by the EU Menu – infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, adults, the elderly and special groups. For the first time, the statistics are also broken down by gender.
“This release significantly increases the proportion of harmonised information in the database. Τhe additions mean that more than half of the surveys covering infants, toddlers, adolescents, adults and special groups were carried out using the EU Menu methodology,” said Sofia Ioannidou, Manager of the EU Menu project.
Since 2011 EFSA has provided financial support and guidance on data collection to 21 countries under the EU Menu umbrella. So far, 17 surveys have been completed by 11 countries, with more planned for the future.