Official controls on food safety: Competent Authority measures
Since December 14th, 2019, Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 has been replaced by Regulation (EU) 2017/625, which sets the activity of the official control on food safety, extending the scope of the previous regulation. The broader scope of the new regulation aims to ensure compliance across the European Member States in the Union in the fields of food, feed, animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products. The administrative measures that the Competent Authorities adopt following the finding of a non-compliance regarding food hygiene, should be take into account not only the risk assessment, but a series of criteria dictated by both European and national legislation and comply with the generals principles governing administrative action. The aim of this study is to conduct a legal analysis of: (i) the provisions set out in Regulation (EU) 2017/625 concerning executive actions in the case of noncompliance, and (ii) the criteria used to assess the appropriate remedial measures. The study was completed by analysing recent legal cases on food safety, which in many cases have censure the work of the Local Competent Authority, and has brought to light a distorted and uneven application of the legislation on food safety, especially in cases in which drastic measures had been adopted, such as the closure of the productive activities, which has a heavy impact on the food business operators in the food sector concerned. In addition to an incorrect application of the specific health legislation, there is also a violation of the principle of proportionality, of community origin. Indeed, the principle of proportionality, an essential factor in administrative review, which has been used as a leading criterion in the adoption of administrative measures by of the Health Authorities of the Competent Authority.
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