As a food business operator you may be asked for certain things by an inspector of a Competent Authority (e.g. an environmental health officer or a veterinary inspector) carrying out what are called 'Official Controls'. These official controls, and what is required by a food business, are set out in legislation (Regulation (EU) 2017/625).
Providing access to staff of the Competent Authority
When carrying out official controls and/or other official activities, food business operators, where required by the competent authority, must give staff of the competent authority access to:
- the equipment, means of transport, premises and other places under their control and their surroundings
- their computerised information management systems
- animals and goods under their control
- their documents and any other relevant information
Assist and cooperate with staff of the competent authority
During official controls and other official activities food business operators must assist and cooperate with the staff of competent authorities and organic controls authorities.
Consignments entering the EU
Food business operators responsible for a consignment entering the EU must also make all information concerning the animals and goods available without delay.
This information may be in paper or electronic form.
Providing food business operators details to the competent authority
Food business operators are required to provide the competent authority with at least the following updated details:
- their name and legal form
- the specific activities they carry out, including activities undertaken by means of distance communication (i.e. distance selling, online sales, e-commerce) and the places under their control
Note: Food law applies to food sold or advertised via the internet and online media platforms therefore e-commerce is subject to official controls. Competent authorities can, for official control purposes, sample products online without identifying themselves (i.e. mystery shopping) and use the products purchased as official control samples.