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The Hellenic Food Authority
Main Page: The Hellenic Food Authority
 Mission - Goals
 Structure - Operation
 Legal Framework


Mission - Objectives

The EFET was established by virtue of L. 2741/GG 199/28-09-1999. It is a legal body and under the supervision of the Ministry of Development.
The powers of the Single Food Control Agency are:

  • It establishes quality standards to be met by foods provided for consumption and the raw materials or additives intended to be added to foods in order to protect public health and prevent defraudation of consumers. It sets the standards and principles which should underpin the design and implementation of production systems of healthy products, in accordance with the law, by the food businesses and specifications for scientists that will deal with the installation of such systems in food businesses, and the staff will work in food quality control laboratories to be installed in food businesses.
  • Specifies or ratifies the regulations on good hygiene practices in accordance with Regulation 852/2004 and other relevant international and community regulations and monitors compliance with these regulations. Adherence to the regulations of good hygiene practices is a prerequisite for the establishment and operation of any food business. In this context, it determines the health conditions of the establishment and operation of food businesses and measures to be taken to ensure food health and safety.
  • It maintains a register of food businesses and determines the program for inspections carried out by its services or other authorities and services.
  • Using its instruments, or by ordering other authorities or agencies, it coordinates and directs the inspections at all stages after primary production which include, inter alia, harvesting, slaughter and milking, i.e. the stages of manufacturing, processing, production, packaging, storage, transport, distribution, handling, marketing or supply to the consumer of fresh or processed food produced, handled or imported to our country or exported from this. It also carries out inspections on materials and articles in contact with food. The purpose of these inspections is to ensure food hygiene and the protection of consumer interests. These controls consist particularly of inspections of food businesses, to review the enterprises’ production system, and the sampling and analysis of food in its own or other food laboratories.
  • The inspection includes in particular the control of raw materials and additives, food during the production process of finished products, compliance with the regulations of good hygiene practices in food company premises, in their machinery, personnel health and hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, combating rodents and insects in the packaging, storage and distribution and transport of food. Also, during the inspection it checks compliance wirh the technical parameters required by legislation from food businesses and food labels.
  • The inspection of the production system of health products includes the inspection of critical control points in the production process, the inspection of the prevention measures implemented by businesses to counter risks, the control of processing and maintenance parameters used by firms (such as heating and cooling) to eliminate food risks. It also includes an assessment of the appropriate personnel training for enterprises so that it can respond appropriately to the requirements of the production of health products and the control of archives documenting the maintenance of the system.
  • It participates in the relevant EU bodies and international organizations for the formulation of relevant decisions, it ensures the adaptation and compliance with directives, regulations decisions and recommendations issued by the institutions of the European Union and other International Organizations in matters within its competence and acts as the link with the competent services of the European Union and other international organizations in monitoring food and in the immediate response system relating to food safety in collaboration with the General Consumer Secretariat of the Ministry of Development.
  • It ensures the development of research programs related to its objective, working with authorities with similar objects for this purpose and puts forward proposals for legislation or other measures in the field of its competence.
  • It gathers, processes and keeps information on statistics and records of inspections carried out by its services, in food businesses and matters of its competence.
  • It endeavours to continuously brief, train and educate staff on technological developments and developments in new legislation and issues of consumer safety and food quality, in cooperation with the General Consumer Secretariat.
  • The E.F.E.T. may, within its powers and purpose of operation and mission, by decision of its Governing Council, grant or to participate in programs, workshops, conferences and events in general of public services, legal persons of the public sector or the broader public sector, as determined by the relevant provisions, scientific societies, non-governmental organizations, unions or associations. This grant is exempt from any tax, fee and other charges in favour of the government or any third party.
  • Exercise any other competence relevant to its purposes.

General operation of the Single Food Control Agency

The Single Food Control Agency (E.F.E.T.), as a dynamically developing service in terms of responsibilities and standards, is the principal Food Control Body in Greece. Since its establishment on 13 January 2000 until today, its Governing Council has set the development strategy of the organization, planning and proceeding to the integration of actions, which were the result of the creation and fulfilment of those conditions that set the organization basis of a modern organization able to respond successfully to its obligations. These obligations which create a huge dynamic range of the Body, but are also a huge responsibility towards Greek society, are as follows:

  • The conduct of systematic inspections in food businesses (food production, marketing and distribution businesses). During such visits it should be checked whether the regulations on good hygiene practices, industry best practices and systems to safeguard food health (HACCP) are complied with.
  • The systematic and ready food control during transport, sales and marketing.
  • The provision of technical assistance to productive sectors, either by issuing health guidelines for each profession or through the various seminars which are organized under the auspices of the E.F.E.T. to train workers and professionals.
  • The treatment of various food crises, a particularly common phenomenon in recent years (e.g. arising problems related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, dioxins, acrylamide, aflatoxins and other mycotoxins, etc.)
  • The development of Greek positions in food safety and their support in the EU,
  • the proposal for the drafting of national legislation on food safety,
  • The communication with the consumers in order to inform them and train them on food safety issues,
  • the protection of consumers from fraudulent or deceptive trade practices or from the adulteration of food,
  • the coordination of departmental services to monitor food safety,
  • The installation of more efficient (and preventive) systems, to monitor and manage health risks, with full adherence to the principles of analysis and risk assessment.