BTSF Trainings | BTSF Food Hygiene and Flexibility
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The Food Hygiene & Flexibility training programme is being carried out by a consortium composed of OPERA Srl (Lead Company) and the State Food and Veterinary Service of the Republic of Lithuania.

The State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) develops and implements the Government’s policy in food safety and quality as well as in animal health and welfare. The SFVS is accountable to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

http://vmvt.lt/en/

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.

 

PARTECIPANT SELECTION

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.

For the second training course (scheduled in Barcelona on 16-20 May 2016) and for other two courses to be scheduled in 2017, the participant profile will be tightened. More specifically, the participants will be requested to be senior officials from Central and Regional Competent Authorities involved in programming and coordination of control activities on food hygiene and, additionally, where flexibility measures are regularly adopted. This provisions will allow the training program to address the needs of officials who already boast a certain qualification as concerns the use of flexibility measures but are seeking more advanced training in order to clarify certain complex issues and/or fine tune understanding of certain topics.

 

COURSES AND LOCATIONS 

Twelve five-day training courses will be delivered between April 2016 and November 2017. Exact dates will be notified in due course.

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

  • Turin – ITALY
  • Coimbra – PORTUGAL
  • Barcelona – SPAIN
  • Vilnius – LITHUANIA
  • Helsinki – FINLAND

The attendance will be approximately 30 people for each session.

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Flex 2

BTSF Food Hygiene and Flexibility 

Project no. 2012 96 13: Organisation and implementation of training activities on Food hygiene and flexibility

Phase 2 – Calendar of sustained training sessions

  TOPIC DATE LOCATION
1 Course 1 From 04-04-2016 to 08-04-2016 Vilnius, Lithuania
2 Course 2 From 16-05-2016 to 20-05-2016  Barcelona, Spain
3 Course 3 From 13-06-2016 to 17-06-2016 Turin, Italy
4 Course 4 From 12-09-2016 to 16-09-2016 Coimbra, Portugal
5 Course 5 From 03-10-2016 to 07-10-2016  Vilnius, Lithuania
6 Course 6 From 07-11-2016 to 11-11-2016  Turin, Italy 
7 Course 7 From 06-02-2017  to 10-02-2017 Barcelona, Spain
8 Course 8 From 20-03-2017  to 24-03-2017  Helsinki, Finland
9 Course 9 From 08-05-2017 to 12-05-2017 Vilnius, Lithuania
10 Course 10 From 12-06-2017 to 16-06-2017 Turin, Italy
11 Course 11 From 11-09-2017 to 15-09-2017 Helsinki, Finland
12 Course 12 From 06-11-2017 to 10-11-2017 Barcelona, Spain 

Phase 1 – Calendar of sustained training sessions

  TOPIC DATE LOCATION
1 Course 1 From 06-07-2014 to 11-07-2014  Parma, Italy
2 Course 2 From 14-09-2014 to 19-09-2014  Coimbra, Portugal
3 Course 3 From 12-10-2014 to 17-10-2014  Vilnius, Lithuania
4 Course 4 From 09-11-2014 to 14-11-2014  Graz, Austria
5 Course 5 From 14-12-2014 to 19-12-2014  Barcelona, Spain
6 Course 6 From 08-02-2015 to 13-02-2015  Turin, Italy 
7 Course 7 From 08-03-2015 to 13-03-2015 Graz, Austria
8 Course 8 From 12-04-2015  to 17-04-2015 Vilnius, Lithuania
9 Course 9 From 10-05-2015 to 15-05-2015 Coimbra, Portugal 
10 Course 10 From 14-06-2015 to 19-06-2015 Vilnius, Lithuania 
11 Course 11 From 18-10-2015 to 23-10-2015 Graz, Austria 
12 Course 12 From 08-11-2015 to 13-11-2015 Barcelona, Spain