A trustworthy and competent authority
The National Food Chain Safety Office (NÉBIH) is the food chain safety authority of Hungary with control responsibilities covering the whole food chain from farm to fork, including soil protection, agricultural production, forestry, food processing, retail and catering. Besides this, the most significant suppliers of the food chain are also registered by NFCSO (for instance private laboratories, input material suppliers). The National Food Chain Safety Office operates the food chain laboratory system and the national reference laboratory network. The NFCSO has been operating successfully under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture of Hungary since March 2012.
The Office is responsible for ensuring that everyone involved in the production, processing, distribution and preparation of food acts in compliance with legal regulations so that consumers can be provided with high quality and safe food. As a trustworthy and competent authority the NFCSO has nationwide competence. One of the main objectives of NFCSO is to support the functioning of the fair enterprises.
The basic principle of organizing the activities of NFCSO is food safety risk analysis as defined by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Accordingly, besides food risk assessment and risk management, the Office also deals with food safety risk communication (both preventive and crisis communication) and also consumer related programmes, such as campaigns for conscious shopping, responsible animal keeping, prevention of food waste, prevention of forest fires.
The Food Chain Safety Strategy document and a Food Chain Safety Programme were created with the aim of further developing the competitiveness of the Hungarian food sector between 2013 and 2022.
The mission of the NFCSO
The mission of the NFCSO is to protect and constantly improve safety in the Hungarian food chain, from farm to fork. To this end, it strives to improve the efficiency of official measures, such as control and monitoring. In addition, the NFCSO pays particular attention to gathering, processing and sharing information. Integration of this information and knowledge into daily practice and sharing them with all stakeholders in a transparent way help in reducing risks to acceptable levels.
The foundations of a knowledge network
Each participant of the food chain can be regarded a knowledge hub in itself. The task of the state is to coordinate the participants and to develop a knowledge network. In addition to operating and controlling this knowledge network the authority works in close partnership with each participant of the food chain.
Most of NFCSO’s directorates pursue academic activities ranging from life sciences to social sciences. Typical research areas include methodological development of laboratory investigations, risk assessment, food chain network analysis, food consumption patterns and risk perception of consumers. A significant share of the research projects are conducted in cooperation with international and national research institutions and universities.
For further information on the NFCSO please visit https://portal.nebih.gov.hu/hu/nyitooldal.