Most important general legislation applicable to oils and fats is: 


General Food Law 

The General Food Law or Regulation 178/2002/EC (consolidated version) contains the basic principles of European food legislation. Other European food safety legislation concerning hygiene, contaminants and controls is based upon the principles in this law.

Responsibilities food business operators 
The General Food Law divides responsibilities in the food chain. Feed and food business operators are primarily responsible for the production of safe food. They must ensure that food and feed under their control meets all the safety requirements of European food and feed law. If food or feed products are unsafe, they shall not place it on the market. 


The General Food Law prescribes that food and feed products operators must know from whom they have bought their products and to whom they have sold their products. Operators must be able to report this information to the competent authorities within a short period of time. 

Companies must have a system to track and trace unsafe products. The following processes are part of such a system:

  • The way in which a company maintains data required for tracing (administration: manual or automated).
  • The steps a company takes in the event of unsafe products (tracking procedure)
  • The company must be able to immediately trace one step back (supplier) and one step forward (customer).

The Commission has made a "Guidance document on the General Food Law and Traceability. It contains detailed and useful information on the interpretation of the different articles of the General Food Law and the traceability requirement. 
At the request of the Dutch competent authorities (NVWA), a company must be able to provide insight into this system at any time. A company must always be able to demonstrate from whom products have been received and to whom products have been delivered.

Obligation to withdraw and notify
If an operator has reasons to believe that a food or feed under her control does not meet the standards, she has to withdraw a product from the market,  and when the food or feed has left his or her immediate control she has to withdraw the product and report to the competent authorities.

Unsafe food and feed products must be reported to the NVWA. More information about this can be found on the website of the NVWA and the Meldwijzer NVWA Onveilige levensmiddelen ('Notification guide NVWA unsafe food') or Melden onveilige diervoeders ('Notification guide NVWA unsafe feed). 

Imported products
To ensure a high level of protection all imported food and feed must meet the European food law standards or equivalent conditions. 


Hygiene Regulations (EC) No. 852/2004 & 853/2004 (food) and 183/2005 (feed)

In the General Food Law (EC) 178/2002 it is stated that a food or feed company is responsible for food and / or feed safety throughout the entire business process, from purchase to sale and all process steps in between. To further elaborate on this basic principle of the so-called hygiene regulations have been in force since 1 January 2006. These are Regulations (EC) No’s. 852/2004, 853/2004 and 183/2005 which include new general and specific hygiene rules for food and feed products. The main purpose of the rules is to ensure a high level of consumer protection in terms of food safety. There are specific rules in particular for food of animal origin.

Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs contains the general hygiene rules in the field of foodstuffs for food business operators (Annex II), with the - more extensive - HACCP obligation (see Article 5) as the main provision. Since 1 January 2006, this regulation has replaced the so-called Hygiene Directive (93/43 / EEC).

Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004 includes the additional specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin.

Regulation (EC) No. 183/2005 contains the requirements for feed hygiene. It also includes the HACCP obligation (see Article 6) as the main provision.

Both the European Hygiene Regulations 852/2004 and 183/2005 (for food and feed) furthermore require companies that produce vegetable oils and fats for animal and human consumption to prepare and maintain a risk analysis. This risk analysis must be based on HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) principles. This is a system that enables companies to manage any risks that are key to feed and food safety.

See Risk analysis 




Last modified: October 19, 2020 14:27