Food supervision

The most important task of food supervision is to protect the consumer from health hazards and financial losses caused by food. The food safety authority is monitoring the production, transportation, sale, serving, marketing and other treatment of food items as well as food export and import

Health inspectors are mainly responsible for food control. Veterinary care unit participates in food control by inspecting primary production sites of animal-derived foods and production plants that process animal-derived products. The monitoring is carried out by inspections, taking samples and guiding and advising operators.

Primary responsibility for the safety of food belongs to the operator. The objects of food supervision are primary production, food premises, facilities and contact material operators.

An operator of the food industry must submit a registration notification to the health authority regarding temporary sale of food.

Individuals and organizations do not have to inform the health authority about low-risk food sales, for example at school sales, church coffee parties or sports club events. On such occasions, however, good hygiene must be followed and food should be kept at the correct storage temperatures.

You can find more information on organizing temporary food sales in the health supervision customer guide. You can also ask health inspectors for more information.

The food operator must have a written self-monitoring system and it must be kept at the point of sale. Self-monitoring must include the important steps in the manufacturing, processing, and storage of the food, and it must state the procedures for monitoring these points.

The operator must make a notification no later than 4 weeks before starting operations. Notification must also be made of essential changes in operations and changes of operator. The health authority processes the report and records the information in the supervision database.

The person making the notification will receive a certification about the processing of the notification. A handling fee will be charged for processing the notification.

The operator must also have a self-monitoring system, but it does not have to be approved by the supervisory authority. Regional health inspectors will give more

detailed information about establishing a food premise. The operator must also take into account the requirements of other authorities.

A hygienist veterinarian must approve an application for a food premise that handles animal based foodstuffs. The application must be made before starting operations. An approval decision will be made on the application within 60 days of the case being initiated, unless the extent of the case, the incompleteness of the application or another special reason requires a longer processing time.