Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Last updated, 26 April, 2018

Official Control and Food Hygiene Legislation in the European Union

On this Page:

For information on the UK, see separate page: Official Control in the UK

Quick Links to most recent Consolidated Texts
(but check below for additional amendments not yet included) :


Early EU hygiene legislation was developed as part of the controls of animal production and is often termed 'veterinary legislation'. This area was originally the responsibility of DG VI (Agriculture). Manufactured food products were mainly the responsibility of DG III (Industry or, later, Internal Market) where more general controls (often term 'horizontal' legislation) were introduced as part of the 'internal market' programme. DG VI also developed a large number of new Directives in support of the 'internal market' programme - each one control a different type of animal product (often termed a 'vertical' approach').

Following the BSE crisis and the adoption of a more unified structure within the European Commission with the creation of DG Health and Consumer Protection, there was considerable pressure to produce a more simplified legislative system. The adoption of the Commission's White Paper on Food Safety (in 2000) eventually provide the incentive to make progress and a fully updated set of Regulations was adopted in 2004. These 4 Regulations have since been amended and have been supplemented by additional controls.

The following diagram illustrates this history up until 2010 (note that amendments to the former Directives have not been shown):

A pdf file of this figure is also available. See: Chronology of the Development of EU Official Control and Hygiene Legislation Figure

The following diagram illustrates the amendments that have taken place since the new controls were adopted in 2004:

A larger version of this figure (as pdf) is also available. See: Official Control and Hygiene - Developments since 2004 Figure

The Official Control Regulation

*** New Regulation Published ***

Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products, amending Regulations (EC) No 999/2001, (EC) No 396/2005, (EC) No 1069/2009, (EC) No 1107/2009, (EU) No 1151/2012, (EU) No 652/2014, (EU) 2016/429 and (EU) 2016/2031 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulations (EC) No 1/2005 and (EC) No 1099/2009 and Council Directives 98/58/EC, 1999/74/EC, 2007/43/EC, 2008/119/EC and 2008/120/EC, and repealing Regulations (EC) No 854/2004 and (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Directives 89/608/EEC, 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC, 91/496/EEC, 96/23/EC, 96/93/EC and 97/78/EC and Council Decision 92/438/EEC (Official Controls Regulation) (OJ L95, 7.4.2017, page 1)

Main Legal Documents

Consolidated Text

A version of the Regulation incorporating the amendments is available. See:

Updating the Official Control Regulation

In May 2013, the Commission published a proposal to update and replace Regulation 882/2004. See:

The Commission published the following communication on the 6 January 2017. See:

After agreement with the Council, the new controls were passed by the European Parliament on the 15 March 2017. Publication of the text was in April 2017 as Regulation (EU) 2017/625.


The following are some news items relating to this:

The "Hygiene Package"

Main Legal Documents

Adopted at the same time as the 'Hygiene Package' was a Directive specifically designed to repeal the various Directives which had provided requirements for hygiene of foods derived from animal products:

Consolidated Texts

As there have been significant amendments, it is easiest to consult the consolidated versions of the Regulations which contain an updated version of the complete text of the amended Regulations - these may however not contain any very recent amendments.:

Implementing measures

Consolidated Texts

Where there have been significant amendments, it is easiest to consult the consolidated versions of the Regulations which contain the complete current text of the amended Regulations:

This page was first provided on 19 July 2010
To go to main Foodlaw-Reading Index page, click here.