Food safety

Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (Agence fédérale pour la sécurité de la chaîne alimentaire - AFSCA).

This must be done before starting the activity, by registering or, in some cases, applying for authorisation or approval. Any modification or cessation of the activity must also be communicated to the AFSCA. However, some exemptions are available as it is estimated that the food safety risk is very low.

For example, the following are not subject to the formalities:

  • asbl only producing and/or selling foodstuffs occasionally
  • establishments offering customers, visitors, or members of staff free drinks.

Establishments selling or supplying food to the end consumer are required to display the registration or authorisation. 

Formalities

There are 3 types of formalities depending on the risk in terms of food safety.

1. Registration

The activities involving the least risk are subject to registration.
Some examples: a café only serving drinks, a retail outlet only selling pre-packaged foodstuffs and storing the latter at ambient temperature for over 3 months such as, for example, a service station and a bookshop selling sweets.

2. Authorisation

The majority of companies in the food sector, notably distribution companies, Horeca, retail outlets, are subject to authorisation (FR).

Examples: restaurants, a butcher shop selling directly to the end consumer.

3. Approval

Companies subject to the manufacture or transformation of animal foodstuffs such as meat, fish, eggs and milk are subject to approval (FR).

Examples: an abattoir, a meat cutting workshop.

How ?

The registration is notified and the authorisation and approval are requested using a form (FR) which is sent by post or by fax, or taken in person to the “Unité provinciale de contrôle” (UPC).

For operations located in the Brussels Capital Region, this is the Brussels UPC:

Food Safety Center
Centre administratif Botanique
boulevard du Jardin Botanique, 55
1000 BRUSSELS
Tel.: 02/211 92 00
Fax: 02/211 91 80
Email: info.bru@afsca.be
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8.30am-12pm and 1pm-4.30pm

Updated 28/07/2017

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