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Italy
Codex Contact Point
Italian Codex Contact Point, Ministero delle politiche agricole alimentari e forestali (MPAAF), Dipartimento delle politiche europee e internazionali e dello sviluppo rurale (DIPEISR), Direzione Generale delle politiche internazionali e dell’Unione europea (PIUE), PIUE II, Via XX Settembre 20, 00187 - Rome, Italy Tel: +39 06 46654058
E-mail: piue2.codex@politicheagricole.it
Website:
National legislation on food safety: FAOLEX

Competent authorities

Name of authority
MH Ministry of Health
MIPAAFT Ministry of Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies and of Tourism
Mandate/competence
http://www.salute.gov.it/portale/ministro/p4_5_5_1.jsp?lingua=italiano&label=org&menu=organizzazione In Italy most of the competencies for food and feed safety, animal health and animal welfare are assigned at national level to the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Agriculture, Foodstuff and Forestry Policies and of Tourism (MIPAAFT) is responsible for plant health and for controls on quality, labelling and traceability of food, feed and some aspects in the field of plant protection products and fertilizers. Except for those matters explicitly reserved to the central government, such as matters of general State interest, import controls, international disease prevention, risk assessment in the food chain and consultation of producers and consumers, responsibility for controls has been devolved to regional level. The 19 Regions and 2 autonomous Provinces have responsibility, within their territories, for planning, co-ordination, guidance, authorization, and verification, while the operational implementation of controls is handled at local level by 123 Local Health Units (ASL) with a high degree of managerial autonomy. There are 18406 full-time equivalent staff involved in food safety controls in Italy. Of these, 2336 work at national level, 920 at regional level, 10874 at local level and 4276 in laboratory services. Constitutional framework The Italian Constitution allocates certain exclusive competences to the State (including international relations, matters of general state interest, import controls and international disease protection) and defines the areas where competence is shared between the State and the Regions. In the latter case, the State does not have exclusive legislative competence but transposes EU Directives for the whole territory until these are overtaken by laws adopted in individual Regions. All administrative tasks in these areas and in the areas of health and food safety have been devolved to the Regions – unless otherwise provided for. The Ministry of Health (MH) was established recently by Law n. 172 of 13 November 2009. The 19 Regions and two autonomous Provinces have responsibility, within their territories, for planning, co-ordination, guidance, authorization and verification of controls (references to "Regions" should be read as including the two autonomous Provinces). Legislative Decree 193/2007 nominates MH, Regions/Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano, and Local Health Units as competent authorities for food safety, responsible for the implementation of Regulations (EC) No 852/2004, 853/2004, 854/2004 and 882/2004 and their amendments. In Italy most of the competencies for animal health, food and feed safety, animal welfare, risk assessment in the food chain and consultation of producers and consumers are assigned at national level to the Directorate General for Animal Health and Veterinary Medicine (DGAHVM), Directorate General for Food Hygiene, Food Safety and Nutrition (DGFHFSN) and Directorate General for Advisory Bodies for Health Care (DGABHC) of the MH. The operational implementation of controls is handled at local level by 123 Local Health Units (ASL). The Ministry of Agriculture Foodstuff and Forestry Policies (MIPAAF) is responsible for plant health and for the controls on quality of food, feed and some aspects in the field of plant protection products and fertilizers. The central authority retains responsibility for import control and international disease protection, national co-ordination, guidance, monitoring, supervision and inspection. The sectorial offices of the DGAHVM and DGFHFSN may carry out inspections directly (mainly in relation to specific problems and the approval of establishments for export to non-EU countries) or through a dedicated body of the Carabinieri (the Carabinieri Health Protection Unit, the NAS). In parallel to these inspections, the Audit Office of DGFHFSN began to carry out audits of regional control systems in 2003 Ministry of Health Prime Minister’s Decree No. 59 of 11 February 2014 provided the reorganization of the Ministry of Health and the institution of 12 Directorates General coordinated by a Secretariat General. The following organization chart provides an overview of the 12 Directorates General and the Secretariat General: Three out of the twelve Directorates Generals and one Office of the Secretariat General are involved in animal health, food and feed safety, animal welfare, risk assessment in the food chain and consultation of producers and consumers.
https://www.politicheagricole.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/IT/IDPagina/8 Ministry of Agriculture Foodstuffs, Forestry Policies and Tourism Within the Ministry of Agriculture Foodstuffs, Forestry Policies and Tourism (MIPAAFT), the Department of competitive policies of rural and quality is responsible for the co-ordination of activities related to the quality of agricultural products and food. Within the Directorate-General of competitiveness for rural development (COSVIR), Office XI is responsible for plant health, seeds, propagation material, fertilizers and some aspects of the field of plant protection products. Office X is responsible for husbandry and products of animal origin. Central Inspectorate for Quality Controls and Antifraud of Foodstuff and Agricultural Products (ICQRF) ICQRF is the law enforcement control authority of MIPAAFT, responsible for preventing and repressing any breach of European and Italian laws relating to: • agro-foodstuffs productions from farming to food processing industries, at any stage of the production chain; • farm supply products (seeds, feed, fertilizers and plant plant protection products). In particular, it carries out controls on labelling and quality of foodstuffs, agricultural products feed, fertilizers and plant protection products. At central level, ICQRF consists of two Directorates-General: DG PREF and DG VICO. DG PREF is responsible for official control activities on agro-food products and supervision on delegated control bodies (CBs) in charge for official controls on PDO/PGI/Organic products. It includes 4 central offices: • PREF I: general planning, and monitoring of control activities, risk analysis, implementation of official procedures for inspection activities; • PREF II: coordination and guidance of the supervision activities on CBs; • PREF III: coordination and guidance of inspection activities; • PREF IV: coordination and guidance of ICQRF Laboratories activities. PREF IV also includes a central laboratory in charge for counter-analyses (Laboratorio Centrale di Roma). DG VICO is responsible for authorization/suspension of CBs, sanctions, budget and training activities. It includes 4 central offices. • VICO I: authorization/suspension of CBs; • VICO II: sanctioning competent authority for specific regulations (PDO/PGI/Organic products, wine sector, olive oil sector, etc.); • VICO III: budget management; • VICO IV: training activity for ICQRF staff. At local level, ICQRF has: • 10 Territorial Offices and 19 local units, as a total of 29 inspection units along the whole Country (at least 1 inspection unit per administrative region); • 5 chemical routine laboratories and a central reference laboratory responsible for research activity and confirmatory analysis. All laboratories are accredited to the ISO 17025:2005 standard Most of the controls performed by the ICQRF are related to wine, alcoholic beverages, milk, dairy products and olive oil. Specific control campaigns are carried out in relation to feedstuffs, ABP, traceability of meat, GMOs in soya and corn seeds, fertilizers and organic agricultural products. The ICQRF carries out controls on feedstuffs for the presence of prohibited animal proteins and on organic products for the presence of residues of prohibited plant protection products (PPPs). The ICQRF also conducts controls on wine production, fertilizers, fruit and vegetables to detect the presence of unauthorized additives. Feedstuffs, fertilizers and wine are checked for the presence of heavy metals. During inspections samples are taken and sent to ICQRF laboratories of Modena, Perugia and Salerno which have the expertise to perform optical microscopy for the detection of constituents of animal origin in feed. In addition, the ICQRF laboratory of Catania is specialized in the analysis of organic products to test the presence of prohibited PPPs. The same laboratory also checks for the presence of unauthorized compounds used for surface treatments of fruit and vegetables. ICQRF may undertake specific control activities in the food safety field on request of the judicial authorities.
INFOSAN Emergency Contact Point
Dr. Gaetana Ferri – Director General of the Directorate General for Food Hygiene, Food Safety and Nutrition.

Food safety and consumer protection – laws and regulations

The current list of legislation, related to food safety and consumer protection in each country, is extracted from FAO's database on Food Legislation FAOLEX.
While FAOLEX makes every effort to serve as a high quality, reliable source of information, no guarantee is given that the information provided in FAOLEX is correct, complete, and up-to-date.

The national Codex programme

National Codex consultative mechanism
The Codex Contact Point for Italy is an official of the Ministry of agricultural food and forestry policies – Directorate General of the European Union and International Policies, who fulfils the 9 core functions of Codex Contact Points set out in the Codex Procedural Manual. The Codex Contact Point also co-ordinates the national activities related to the participation of the European Union in the work of Codex, including the participation in the Codex Alimentarius Working Party of the Council of the European Union coordination meeting and the contribution to the preparation of EU replies to Codex circular letters. Consultative Working Groups meet before every Codex committee session and the European Union coordination meetings to discuss and prepare the Italian positions on the relevant agenda items. Consultations include representatives of the national administration (Ministry of agricultural food and forestry policies and of tourism, Ministry of health, Ministry of economic development), of the research and technical institutions, and of consumer, agriculture and industry bodies.
Providers of scientific and technical input to national consultation on Codex
During national consultation on Codex, scientific work and technical input are provided by all the stakeholders involved in the process. In addition to the contributions of the ISS - National Health Institute, of the CREA – Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria, of the ICQRF - Central Inspectorate for Fraud repression and Quality protection of the agri-food products, of the Experimental Zooprophylaxis Institutes (IZS), that are relevant for most of the Codex work, other research institutions and private organizations provide valuable input in the case of specific work. In general the input provided are reflected in the Italian participation in the definition of the European Union position papers on Codex works and in the contribution in Codex Working Groups activities (e.g.: CCFA eWG on note 161; CCFFV eWG on the Codex sndard for kiwifruit; CCFO eWG on the revision of Codex standard for olive oil; CCFL WG on Front-of-Pack nutrition labelling).

Risk Assessments and Scientific Data

National bodies providing risk assessment and scientific advice
Scientific Bodies that provide risk assessments and scientific advice to support risk management decisions by competent authorities are: - European Food Safety Authority (EFSA); - European Centre for Prevention and Disease Control (ECDC); - Food Safety National Committee (CNSA); - National Health Institute, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety (National Reference Laboratory); - The network of Experimental Zooprophylactic Institutes.
Risk assessment, risk profiles, scientific opinions
http://www.izs.it/IZS/Engine/RAServePG.php/P/256310010700/L/1e il Link dell’ Covepi? http://www.iss.it/site/attivita/issweb_istituto/uo/index.asp?idUO=1230&lang=1 http://www.salute.gov.it/portale/temi/p2_6.jsp?lingua=italiano&id=1212&area=Valutazione%20rischio%20catena%20alimentare&menu=vuoto http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/ http://www.efsa.europa.eu/it/
Official Laboratory
National Health Institute (ISS)
Experimental Zooprophylaxis Institutes (IZS)
Environment Protection Agencies (ARPA)
Public Health Laboratories (LSP) operating within the ASL’s Prevention Departments
Central Inspectorate for Fraud repression and Quality protection of the agri-food products (ICQRF)
Official Competence
At national level, the National Health Institute (ISS) is the main technical and scientific public body of the Italian National Health Service. The ISS (which is under the remit of MH) supervises the laboratories of the Italian National Health Service engaged in food and feed control and performs confirmatory analysis. Its activities include research, control, training and consultation in the interest of public health protection. An important activity of the Institute, carried out on behalf of the Minister of Health or the Regions, is inspection and quality control of food products and packaging. The ISS includes the Community Reference Laboratories for Escherichia coli (including verotoxigenic E. coli) parasites (in particular Trichinella), and the residues listed in annex I, group B 3 (c) of Directive 96/23/EC.
National Reference Centres are present in several IZS laboratories and in the ISS. All 10 IZS laboratories for the official control of feed and foodstuffs are accredited. Laboratory services for animal health, food and feed are provided by a network of public laboratories at regional level. Analyses of food of animal origin and animal health are carried out by the Experimental Zooprophylaxis Institutes (IZS). There are 10 IZS, with 90 field diagnostic units at provincial level. The IZS are subject to control and supervision by the Regions and co-ordination by the DGAHVM.
Tests on contaminants, pesticides and food of plant origin are performed by 27 Environment Protection Agencies (ARPA) with 54 local laboratories at the provincial level. ARPA comprises laboratories responsible for both environmental monitoring and for food controls. ARPA laboratories report to the local ASL and they may perform analyses for more than one ASL in a particular a region.
Official testing is also carried out by the Public Health Laboratories (LSP) operating within the ASL’s Prevention Departments. The tested matrixes include food of animal and non-animal origin, water and food contact materials. 16 LSP Laboratories had been accredited in the following Regions: Lombardia, Toscana, Marche, Sicilia and the Trento Autonomous Province.
ICQRF is the law enforcement control authority of MIPAAFT, responsible for preventing and repressing any breach of European and Italian laws relating to: • agro-foodstuffs productions from farming to food processing industries, at any stage of the production chain; • farm supply products (seeds, feed, fertilizers and plant plant protection products). In particular, it carries out controls on labelling and quality of foodstuffs, agricultural products feed, fertilisers and plant protection products. At central level, ICQRF consists of two Directorates-General: DG PREF and DG VICO. DG PREF is responsible for official control activities on agro-food products and supervision on delegated control bodies (CBs) in charge for official controls on PDO/PGI/Organic products. It includes 4 central offices: • PREF I: general planning, and monitoring of control activities, risk analysis, implementation of official procedures for inspection activities; • PREF II: coordination and guidance of the supervision activities on CBs; • PREF III: coordination and guidance of inspection activities; • PREF IV: coordination and guidance of ICQRF Laboratories activities. PREF IV also includes a central laboratory in charge for counter-analyses (Laboratorio Centrale di Roma). DG VICO is responsible for authorization/suspension of CBs, sanctions, budget and training activities. It includes 4 central offices. • VICO I: authorization/suspension of CBs; • VICO II: sanctioning competent authority for specific regulations (PDO/PGI/Organic products, wine sector, olive oil sector, etc.); • VICO III: budget management; • VICO IV: training activity for ICQRF staff. At local level, ICQRF has: • 10 Territorial Offices and 19 local units, as a total of 29 inspection units along the whole Country (at least 1 inspection unit per administrative region); • 5 chemical routine laboratories and a central reference laboratory responsible for research activity and confirmatory analysis. All laboratories are accredited to the ISO 17025:2005 standard

Surveillance of foodborne diseases and monitoring of food contamination

National surveillance systems – foodborne disease in humans
Italy has a computer system intended for the collection of data on zoonoses, antibiotic resistance control and foodborne diseases in accordance with Directive 2003/99 EC. Such system is implemented by the Directorate General for Preventive Health Care, the Directorate General for Food Hygiene, Food Safety and Nutrition and the Directorate General for Animal Health and Veterinary Drugs. The latter holds and manages the computer system mentioned above. Moreover, Italy has a computer system for infectious diseases including human cases of infectious diseases transmitted by foodstuffs according to Ministerial Decree of 15th December 1990. This computer system is hold by the Directorate General for Preventive Health Care of the Ministry of Health (Information System on Infectious Diseases (SIMID) – MOH Italy).
National monitoring systems – foodborne hazards in the food chain
The National Information System of Zoonoses (SINZOO); The National Veterinary Information System for Food Safety (SINVSA). Both the information systems are available at the following link: https://www.vetinfo.sanita.it/