Food control

Consumers have very limited opportunities to verify the safety and authenticity of food products, which is why food control by society is needed. Research on food control focuses on the impact of control. The goal is to promote public health by preventing cases of food poisoning and to foster fair competition in the food industry by preventing food fraud.

According to an estimate by the World Health Organization, more than 20 million people contract a disease from spoiled food each year. In Finland, the corresponding figure is tens of thousands of cases per year. Food poisonings result in human suffering and costs to society. Food control refers to control carried out by society whose primary purpose is to protect consumers from diseases caused by spoiled food or from fraud. In fact, consumers have very limited means to personally ensure that the food industry complies with food regulations. Consequently, almost all countries conduct unbiased food control implemented by authorities.

Research pertaining to food control focuses on investigating the impact of the activity. Impact can mean, for example, the capacity of food control to prevent and eliminate deficiencies relating to food safety as well as its capacity to prevent cases of food poisoning. The lack of appropriate indicators for routinely measuring the impact of control makes it difficult, for the time being, to assess the success of food control. Through research, the appropriateness of control can be improved by assessing the relevance of various control systems, methods and measures to food safety and the food industry.

Read more on our research group's website.