What is food control?

We control foods that are produced, served and sold to ensure that they are microbiologically, chemically and physically safe. Enforcement procedures are also intended to ensure that the quality information and ingredients published for foods are correct. Food control focuses on locations where foods are produced, served and sold, such as shops, restaurants, fast food restaurants, bakeries and food production plants.

Responsibility for food safety and for the correctness of food quality and ingredient information lies principally with the operating unit, specifically with the plant manager, restaurant entrepreneur, shop owner, etc. This procedure is known as ‘self-regulation’. The purpose of food control is to ensure that self-regulation is working as it should and that it is sufficient relative to the nature and scope of the operations at hand.

Who supervises foods?

Municipal food control authorities, mostly health inspectors and veterinarians, are responsible for local food control. They also provide entrepreneurs with guidance and advice as necessary.

Food control inspections are carried out according to the Oiva system of the Finnish Food Authority, and outcomes are also published in this system. Read more about the Oiva system here.

At the Regional State Administrative Agency, we enforce the organising and implementation of food control in municipalities and compliance with food regulations in our region. We also review local authorities’ food control plans and ensure that they are implemented. We are a regional food control expert in various cooperation groups and issue statements as the regional food control authority. Senior Officers in environmental health affairs undertake food control duties.

How do we enforce food control?