International study of different existing delivery models for feed and food official controls

Last updated:
26 September 2013
This study of EU and third country official controls delivery systems will be used to inform the review of delivery of official controls (RDOC) programme
Study duration: July 2012 to March 2013
Project code: FS616018
Contractor: University of Birmingham


The Food Standards Agency undertook a review of how local authorities and port health authorities undertake activities to monitor and secure business compliance with food and feed law. These activities are collectively known as ‘official controls’. The intention of the review was to evaluate the effectiveness of the current delivery model and consider the scope for making improvements. The review gathered evidence to assess the current system based on a set of defined principles and outcomes. The principles provided direction for the review, and set out the characteristics that should be identifiable in a system for delivering official controls and formed the basis of how the FSA assessed the current delivery model.

This research is one of the eight projects taken forward as part of the review’s evidence programme.

Research Approach

The purpose of this project was to supply comprehensive summaries of the methods used to deliver officials controls in EU member states and within selected third countries.

The Project reviewed existing published information to establish the level of information available on selected other country official control systems and identify areas where a more detailed investigation, including direct contact with selected countries to undertake case studies and gather targeted data. The intention of the final report was to provide a user friendly summary of the delivery models for official controls for food, against identified areas of interest to the RDOC programme.


The study provides a summary of the models used for the delivery of Official Controls for Food and Feed in twenty one countries - fifteen EU member states and six non-member countries. Standard information was compiled for each country based on published sources and general conclusions drawn in relation to the similarities and variations of official control models across the countries studied. The report also identifies some trends, novel approaches and areas of interest within selected countries’ official control systems as well as information gaps and limitations of the data available.