BTSF Trainings | BTSF Flexibility
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The project is being carried out by  OPERA Srl.

In order to foster different food products present in the European Union, to allow for small-scale producers to continue operating without being negatively affected by the provisions of the Food Hygiene Package and, at the same time, ensure the rights of consumers to safe food, the relevant Regulations provide diversified possibilities to adapt the technical requirements of the food hygiene package in function of the nature of the food business concerned.

Opera Consortium will organise and implement 12 five-day training courses covering relevant aspects applicable to the scope of the flexibility provisions offered by the hygiene regulations and to controls to be carried out to verify compliance with the arrangements and procedures put in place by food operators according to such provisions.

The training aims at raising awareness and at improving the understanding of the flexibility provisions within the competent authorities of the Member States, ensuring a better use of such provisions, disseminating best practices for official controls regarding flexibility provisions in all food sectors and favouring exchange of experience in order to increase the level of expertise and harmonisation in the approach to flexibility at all stages of production, processing and distribution of the food chain.

Main objectives of the project:

  • Raise awareness and improve understanding of flexibility provisions of the Hygiene Package;
  • Highlight how provisions are not always used completely and not in the proper manner;
  • Promote exchange of experience in order to increase the level of expertise and harmonisation in the approach to flexibility;
  • Ensure a better use of flexibility provisions;
  • Disseminate best practices for official controls when flexibility is applied;
  • Raise awareness on notification procedures and importance of their adoption

Main topics to be addressed in the workshops, as clearly outlined in the tender specifications, are:

• Flexibility through the Hygiene Regulations: general overview and concept (legal basis and guidance document);

• Activities excluded from the scope of the hygiene Regulation, including practical examples; • Scope and practical examples of flexibility with regard to the implementation of procedures based on the HACCP principles;

• Scope and practical examples of flexibility measures to enable the continued use of traditional methods at any of the stages of production, processing or distribution of food;

• Scope and practical examples of flexibility measures to accommodate the needs of food businesses situated in regions that are subject to special geographic constraints;

• Scope and practical examples of flexibility provisions pursuant to Article 7 of Regulation (EC) Nº 2074/2005 for food operators producing food products with traditional characteristics;

• Scope and practical examples of flexibility with regard to the implementation of Regulation (EC) Nº 2073/2005;

• Assessment of the implementation of flexibility provisions by competent authorities taking into account the possible use of guides to good practice and implications for official controls;

• National measures and notification process; • Exchange of views and experience about the approach to flexibility in each country.

However, during elaboration of training materials and analyses of issue to be specifically addressed, the Opera Consortium will also address the following topics:

• Certain issues of the legislation providing for flexibility in the hygiene package that deserve a specific approach and will thus trigger specific interventions during the workshops;

• Sharing experience between different countries, in particular neighbouring countries, is crucial and networking of information and comparative analyses of situations between bordering countries will be fostered. • Shortfalls and recommendations identified within the report “General report of a mission series carried out in six member states in the period November 2009 To March 2010 in order to gather information regarding the application of the Hygiene Regulations in small establishments producing meat and meat products of mammals and dairy products” will be presented during the workshop;

• Possibilities offered by flexibility measures and the possibility to adopt measures that, despite non being compliant with detailed requirements of the Hygiene package, are nevertheless achieving the objectives of Hygiene aimed by the Hygiene package should be highlighted;

• Analysis of different use of flexibility measures by Member States and their influence on fair competition between FBOs operating in different MS;

• Reactions by countries where flexibility is not applied;

• Importance in ensuring that flexibility be viewed as a tool;

• Importance in highlighting how application of flexibility measures should determine appropriate official inspections.

Considering the topics to be covered, practical approach will have a pivotal role in the training, including visits in the field (4 field visits are foreseen), case studies, exercises, group work, videos. For this reason all training locations have been selected so as to allow easy access to a wide number of establishments where flexibility provisions are applied.


The training is addressed both to officials from Competent Authorities involved in planning of control activities and field inspectors involved in control activities on food hygiene of the Member States.


Twelve five-day training courses will be delivered between September 2018 and February 2020.

Locations have been selected so as to facilitate field exercises within establishments. Subject to possible variations, the locations are the following:

  • Turin – ITALY
  • Riga – LATVIA
  • Barcelona – SPAIN
  • Helsinki – FINLAND
  • Zagreb – CROATIA
  • Stuttgart – GERMANY
Flex 2

BTSF Food Hygiene and Flexibility 

Project no. 2017 96 02: Organisation and implementation of training activities on Food hygiene and the flexibility provisions in the food hygiene package

Phase 2 – Calendar of training sessions

Details concerning all missing sessions, postponed due to COVID-19 emergency, will be announced in due time

1 Session 1 to be announced to be announced
2 Session 2 to be announced to be announced
3 Session 3 to be announced to be announced
4 Session 4 to be announced to be announced
5 Session 5 to be announced to be announced
6 Session 6 to be announced to be announced
7 Session 7 to be announced to be announced
8 Session 8 to be announced  to be announced
9 Session 9 to be announced to be announced
10 Session 10 to be announced to be announced
11 Session 11 to be announced to be announced
12 Session 12 to be announced to be announced

Phase 1 – Calendar of training sessions

1 Session 1 From 24-09-2018 to 28-09-2018 Barcelona, Spain
2 Session 2 From 15-10-2018 to 19-10-2018 Riga, Latvia
3 Session 3 From 12-11-2018 to 16-11-2018 Turin, Italy
4 Session 4 From 04-02-2019 to 08-02-2019 Turin, Italy
5 Session 5 From 11-03-2019 to 15-03-2019 Zagreb, Croatia
6 Session 6 From 08-04-2019 to 12-04-2019 Helsinki, Finland
7 Session 7 From 13-05-2019  to 17-05-2019 Riga, Latvia
8 Session 8 From 09-09-2019  to 13-09-2019  Stuttgart, Germany
9 Session 9 From 14-10-2019 to 18-10-2019 Riga, Latvia
10 Session 10 From 11-11-2019 to 15-11-2019 Zagreb, Croatia
11 Session 11 From 20-01-2020 to 24-01-2020 Turin, Italy
12 Session 12 From 17-02-2020 to 21-02-2020 Barcelona, Spain