Exposure assessment is a key part of the risk assessment process. The quality of available data - both on food consumption and on occurrence levels - can have a major impact on the outcome of risk assessment. Food consumption data from dietary surveys are available in a majority of European countries. However, data obtained at national level often cannot be compared directly due to different survey methodologies, food categorisation systems, etc. To overcome this, EFSA has developed the “Concise European Food Consumption Database”.
The concise database gathers data on average daily consumption of foods per person sourced from the Member States. It comprises 15 broad categories (e.g. milk and dairy-based products) and 21 subcategories (e.g. cheese). The intention of the concise database is to provide a valuable first screening tool to EFSA, its Scientific Panels, and potentially to other scientists in Member States, to help carry out preliminary exposure assessments. It will serve as a starting point for EFSA to develop a more comprehensive database with information on more refined food categories and specific population groups (e.g. children).
The database was set up with the involvement of the EFSA Expert group on food consumption data, a network currently composed of members representing EU and neighbouring countries. The group co-ordinated the collection and formatting of national data and transfer to EFSA. It is also responsible for discussing the requirements for the future comprehensive database.
The need for such data at European level was raised at the colloquium on “European Food Consumption Database - Current and medium to long-term strategies” organised by EFSA in Brussels in April 2005. The full report of the Colloquium is available to download.
Guidance Document for the use of the Concise Database in Exposure Assessment
Food consumption data are elaborated, at country level, according to both broad categories and subcategories. Moreover, summary statistics are calculated in the total population as well as for consumers only. The available data, together with information on the dietary surveys used as sources, are presented in the following files:
In order to facilitate the use of these data by risk managers, summary statistics from the Concise Database are also available for all countries in the following Excel tables:
Concise Database summary statistics - Total population