Food safety

An appropriate degree of food hygiene proficiency among employees is a statutory obligation in the EU for food sector companies, and must also be demonstrated in some way. Finland created a national hygiene proficiency system based on EU legislation in 2002 and instituted a special test to assess the level of proficiency.

The Hygiene Passport system is a success story that has achieved huge popularity in Finland. More than 1.1 million hygiene passports (covering around 20 % of the total population) have been issued, well above the number whose job would require they held the passport. Many food companies have expanded the requirement of their own accord to apply to all food employees within the company. This reflects the keen interest among Finns in clean and safe food and is a clear indication of the robust food hygiene proficiency of Finnish food industry employees.

In addition, all actors in the food supply chain are required to commit to a written self-monitoring plan, approved by the authority, designed to ensure the companies themselves monitor the safety of the products they handle. It is a continuous process to guarantee the safety and quality of the food supply chain.