There is a set of safety and quality control standards applicable to each stage of the production process. The obligation to comply with the standards ensures that high standards applicable to all EU states are maintained. The food safety and quality supervision process can be divided into different areas of responsibility, which together guarantee that business partners and end consumers receive a safe product with exceptional properties and taste. The main areas of responsibility with regard to food safety and quality supervision include:
- EU audit body – the EU body responsible for all aspects of compliance with regulations and inspections within the Community and outside of it is the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE). The main task of DG SANTE experts is to verify control systems in individual EU states in order to ensure that domestic producers comply with strict EU food safety standards. This body of the European Commission plays a key role in establishing the EU policy in the scope of quality and safety of food and fodder, as well as in the scope of veterinary science and animal health. DG SANTE experts constantly monitor national bodies to ensure consistent application of EU regulations within the EU.
- Ongoing monitoring by veterinary services – monitoring is carried out by competent veterinary services based on specific EU regulations. Their tasks include supervision over poultry farming and rearing activities from the time eggs are laid, looking after the welfare of animals throughout farming, slaughter and further processing activities. Competent bodies also ensure safety and quality of animal fodder and the right treatment of livestock in case of any disease. Poultry is examined before being sent to the slaughterhouse, and finished product is again subjected to a veterinary inspection before it is cut and packaged. The product is also inspected in terms of its colour, texture and smell. The results of individual inspections are documented and analysed, which guarantees continuous monitoring of poultry in terms of safety and quality.
- Systemic solutions for quality and safety management – all plants from the food sector in the EU have an obligation to implement integrated programmes dedicated to food production safety and quality: Good Manufacture Practices (GMP), Good Hygiene Practices (GHP), Sanitary Performance Standards (SPS), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), International Organization for Standardization (ISO). These standards also constitute the basis for establishing local quality systems which focus on developing production methods that guarantee high quality based on individually selected farming techniques. An example of a domestic, non-obligatory quality system is QAFP (Quality Control for Food Products), implemented by producers who want to employ special measures to ensure high quality and full safety of their products. Apart from requirements set out by legal systems, QAFP provides for additional measurements and techniques of quality assurance – such as pH level measurements of meat at specific times while carcases are kept in cold stores, which has an impact on the product’s final quality parameters.