Listeria in sausages, pesticides in sesame seeds, recurring rotten meat scandals and abuses in slaughterhouses – food scandals regularly hit the headlines in Germany. Nevertheless, the total number of food inspections has stagnated at a low level in recent years. Consumers must have the assurance that their food is safe and that inspections actually take place and have consequences. Consumers want to know about the hygiene in food production facilities as well as in their favourite snack bar. Currently, this is only possible through a complicated and cumbersome administrative procedure. A scoreboard or smiley system, which would enable consumers to easily track the results of food inspections, would create a great incentive for businesses to comply with the rules at all times.
The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband – vzbv) therefore calls for more staff, more frequent controls and more transparency in official food controls. The Federal and state governments must now present a concept on how authorities in charge of food inspections in Germany can actually fulfil their statutory tasks everywhere in Germany.
- better staffing for competent authorities
- more frequent food inspections
- a transparency system for the publication of official food control results
- more effective and faster product recalls
- improvement of the online platform www.lebensmittelwarnung.de to become a single point of contact for consumers - also in the event of a crisis