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The food safety barometer



 
 
Measuring food safety
Results
F.A.Q.




Results

 

From 2007 on, data were gathered for all 30 food safety indicators and the difference between results of two successive years were calculated in percentage. Taking into account the relative importance of each indicator, the average of these differences in terms of percentage gives the value of the barometer which reflects the food safety situation.

- Results Food safety barometer 2008
- Results Food safety barometer 2009
- Results Food safety barometer 2010
- Results Food safety barometer 2011

- Results Food safety barometer 2012

- Results Food safety barometer 2013
- Results Food safety barometer 2014

- Results Food safety barometer 2015

- Results Food safety barometer 2016

EVOLUTION


Since the beginning of measurements in 2007, the food safety barometer shows a positive trend. This positive trend is mainly due to an increase of the number of operators with a validated self-checking system and to a decrease of the number of human salmonellosis cases. The control of products show each year a high degree of compliance. Since these results barely change from one year to another, they only have a limited effect on the evolution of the food safety barometer.


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FOOD SAFETY BAROMETER 2008



The food safety barometer for 2008 indicates that between 2007 and 2008 food safety in general increased slightly, i.e. by 0.11%. Notwithstanding a significant increase of the number of validated self-checking systems in the primary production sector (FSI3) in 2008, results were less favourable for the inspection of self-checking (FSI6) and of infrastructure, installations and hygiene in the sectors of distribution, hotels & restaurants and community kitchens (FSI17). These apparently less good results were due to a new and more severe evaluation method. Generally, the underlying results of indicators point out that the level of food safety in our country is high; in fact, a large number of indicators showed high scores (over 95 % of compliance).

Figure A - Visual presentation of the 2008 food safety barometer :
Overall picture (scale –40% to +100%)
  Figure B - Visual presentation of the 2008 food safety barometer :
Detail (scale –30% to +10%)

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FOOD SAFETY BAROMETER 2009



The 2009 food safety barometer indicates that food safety increased by 11.26 % when compared to 2008. This improvement was mainly due to a very high increase of the number of validated self-checking systems in the transformation sector (FSI4). But even when this indicator is not taken into account, there is still a 2.37 % increase of food safety in 2009 when compared to 2008. Similarly to 2008, there was an increase of the number of validated self-checking systems in the primary production sector (FSI3). Self-checking and the validation thereof is a relatively new system that becomes more and more widespread throughout the food chain. On the other hand, analogously to 2008 results were less favourable for the inspection of self-checking (FSI6). However, very good results were found for a large number of indicators (more than 95 % compliance) which shows that food safety in Belgium is on a high level.

Figure A - Visual presentation of the 2009 food safety barometer :
Overall picture (scale –50% to +250%)
  Figure B - Visual presentation of the 2009 food safety barometer :
Detail (scale –30% to +30%)
Click image to enlarge
 
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FOOD SAFETY BAROMETER 2010



The 2010 food safety barometer indicates an increase of 3.73% compared to 2009. This is the third consecutive year that the food safety barometer shows an increasing trend. This improvement is, similarly to 2009, mainly the result of an increase in the number of self-checking systems in the transformation sector (FSI 4), but also in the primary production sector (FSI 3) and the supply sector for primary production (FSI 2). The inspection results were less favourable compared to 2009 (FSI 6). Similar and in some cases better results than in 2009 were obtained with respect to the control of products (e.g. FSI 24 and 25, analysis of Salmonella and E. coli in slaughterhouses and meat cutting plants). In 2010, there was a marked increase of the number of people affected by a collective foodborne outbreak (FSI 28), mainly due to Norovirus infections. Contrary, the number of reported human cases of salmonellosis and listeriosis declined (FSI 29 and 30 respectively).

Figure A - Visual presentation of the 2010 food safety barometer :
Overall picture (scale –50% to +100%)
  Figure B - Visual presentation of the 2010 food safety barometer :
Detail (scale –60% to +40%)
Click image to enlarge
 
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FOOD SAFETY BAROMETER 2011



For 2011 as well, the food safety barometer indicates a slight increase of +1.8 % compared to 2010. This positive trend is once again mainly the result of an increase of the number of validated self-checking systems in the transformation sector (FSI 4) and in the primary production sector (FSI 3). Unlike 2010, the number of favorable inspections regarding proper functioning self-checking systems (FSI 6) and regarding infrastructure, installations and hygiene in the sectors of distribution, hotels & restaurants and community kitchens (FSI 7) increased. With respect to the control of products (FSI 9 - FSI 27), similarly to previous years a compliance above 95% was observed for most of the indicators. Analogously to 2010, there was a marked increase in 2011 of the number of people affected by a collective foodborne outbreak (FSI 28), which can partly be explained by improved reporting. Important foodborne bacterial zoonoses are Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. Whereas salmonellosis was reported less (FSI 29), the number of reported human cases of L. monocytogenes was higher in 2011 (FSI 30), which is due to an incident with Listeria in cheese and a second incident, probably related to pâté.

Figure A - Visual presentation of the 2011 food safety barometer :
Overall picture (scale –50% to +100%)
  Figure B - Visual presentation of the 2011 food safety barometer :
Detail (scale –50% to +50%)
Click image to enlarge
 
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FOOD SAFETY BAROMETER 2012



Since 2007 (the beginning of the evaluation of the safety of the food chain via the barometers), a steady positive trend is observed. Compared to 2011, the barometer increased by +2.9% in 2012. This increase is mainly the result of an increase in the number of validated self-checking systems in the transformation sector (FSI 4) and of an improvement of the inspection results of self-checking systems in the primary production, the transformation and the distribution sectors (FSI 6) and of the inspection results of infrastructure, equipment and hygiene in the catering, the community kitchens, the wholesale and the retail sectors (VVI 7). In 2012, more notifications related to food safety were registered (FSI 1). This indicates a greater awareness of operators and of professionals determining that products do not meet the food safety requirements. Similarly to previous years, conformity of controlled products (FSI 9 - FSI 27) was high. The number of people involved in a foodborne outbreak in 2012 was similar to 2010 and 2011 (FSI 28).

Figure A - Visual presentation of the 2012 food safety barometer :
Overall picture (scale –50% to +100%)
  Figure B - Visual presentation of the 2012 food safety barometer :
Detail (scale –50% to +50%)
Click image to enlarge
 
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FOOD SAFETY BAROMETER 2013



The barometer of the food shows for the sixth consecutive year of positive evolution. This increase of 5.6% in 2013 compared to 2012 is the result of significantly more validated self-checking systems in the different sectors (FSI 2, 3, 4 & 5), of improved inspection results (FSI 6 & 7), of fewer cases of foodborne infections (FSI 28) and of salmonellosis (FSI 29) in the population, and of more notifications regarding food safety (FSI 1). The latter indicates an increasing vigilance of the operators. A less favorable trend was observed for the inspections results of traceability in the food chain (FSI 8). The number of reported Listeria monocytogenes infections increased as well (FSI 30), which presumably is due to better diagnostics.

Figure A - Visual presentation of the 2013 food safety barometer :
Overall picture (scale –50% to +100%)
  Figure B - Visual presentation of the 2013 food safety barometer :
Detail (scale –30% to +40%)
Click image to enlarge
 
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FOOD SAFETY BAROMETER 2014



After years of increase since 2008, the food safety barometer stagnates in 2014 for the first time. The barometer shows only a minor improvement of 0.2% compared to 2013. This is a result of fluctuations observed for various indicators. A favorable evolution was observed for the indicators related to preventive measures ensuring food safety, including the number of notifications on food safety (FSI1) and, to a lesser extent than in 2013, the number of validated self-checking systems in various sectors (FSI2-5). However, a less favorable evolution was observed for the indicators associated with foodborne infections (FSI28) and listeriosis in humans (FSI30). Product controls show once more a very high degree of conformity (for most indicators > 95% conformity).


Figure A - Visual presentation of the 2014 food safety barometer :
Overall picture (scale –50% to +100%)
  Figure B - Visual presentation of the 2014 food safety barometer :
Detail (scale –40% to +40%)
Click image to enlarge
 
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FOOD SAFETY BAROMETER 2015



The food safety barometer improved globally with 1% in 2015 compared to 2014, which is the result of both positive and negative changes of a number of indicators.

For the fifth year in a row, an increase is observed of the number of notifications related to food safety (FSI01) and of the number of favorable inspections regarding self-checking systems (FSI06). This indicates an increased proactive approach of food safety. In addition, an increase is observed in the number of operators with a validated self-checking in the transformation sector (FSI04) and in the community kitchen sector (FSI05) as well as of the number of favorable inspections of infrastructure, installations and hygiene in the sectors of distribution, hotels and restaurants and community kitchens (FSI07). The indicator related to foodborne outbreaks (FSI28) on the other hand, shows a less favorable evolution. For this type of indicator (i.e. related to public health) the result is however compared with the average of three previous years (see SciCom advice 28-2010).

Remark that in 2015 the monitoring of Salmonella in pigs was lifted. Consequently, the number of pig farms that were not labelled as a risk farm for Salmonella, could no longer be included as an indicator (FSI22) in the barometer.


Figure A - Visual presentation of the 2015 food safety barometer :
Overall picture (scale –50% to +100%)
  Figure B - Visual presentation of the 2015 food safety barometer :
Detail (scale –30% to +30%)
Click image to enlarge
 
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FOOD SAFETY BAROMETER 2016



The food safety barometer indicates in 2016 for the first time since its measurement a slight decline of the food safety. This negative evolution (-2.2 % compared to 2015) can be attributed mainly to an increase of the number of people affected by a collective foodborne outbreak (FSI28) and of the number of reported human cases of listeriosis (FSI30). Both indicators have a relatively high impact on the final barometer result (cf. weighting factors). In addition, there is a slight decrease of the number of favourable inspections regarding traceability (FSI08) and a slightly less favourable result concerning the presence of pesticide residues in Belgian products (FSI09), although products are still compliant in more than 95% of the cases.

On the other hand, the number of notifications regarding food safety (FSI01) shows again a positive evolution as well as the number of operators with a validated self-checking system in the transformation sector (FSI04) and in the institutional kitchen sector (FSI05). These results indicate an increased proactive approach of food safety. At the ‘business-to-consumer’ level, an increase of the total number of favourable inspections of infrastructure, installations and hygiene is additionally observed (FSI07).


Figure A - Visual presentation of the 2016 food safety barometer :
Overall picture (scale –50% to +100%)
  Figure B - Visual presentation of the 2016 food safety barometer :
Detail (scale –50% to +20%)
Click image to enlarge
 
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