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Inspection of Food Establishments

It is the responsibility of every food business operator to comply with the food legislation in order to produce and sell safe food.

​​All food establishments have to perform own-checks concerning food safety etc. Read more about own-checks in food establishments.The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) controls that the food businesses comply with the legal requirements.

All food establishments in Denmark must be either registered or approved by DVFA.

Control activities
DVFA uses different control activities when inspecting food businesses, e.g.:
  • ​Basic control, e.g.:​
    • ​Ordinary inspection acco​​rding to fixed frequencies, 
    • Extra inspection after an inspection resulting in sanctions,
    • ​Other inspections, e.g. related to certain subjects with fixed frequencies,
    • Inspection in relation to approval.
  • Prioritized basic control,​ i.e. supplementary ordinary inspections focused on special effort areas, e.g. based on level of compliance.
  • Control campaigns. 
Sampling for analyses in laboratory projects may supplement the above mentioned control activities.   
 
Frequency for ordinary inspection
Frequencies for ordinary inspection in different sectors of food businesses are determined by a general risk evaluation of food sectors and an evaluation of need in relation to the individual food operator. In this way, the control is focused on sectors and businesses with the highest risk and need of inspection. ​
 
Standard control frequency and risk groups
All sectors of food businesses (e.g. slaughterhouses, warehouses, butchers and bakers) are placed in one of five risk groups based on seven risk factors covering both microbiological and chemical factors and a general factor depending on the activity of the sector.​

Each risk group has a standard control frequency. The standard control frequencies vary from 5 ordinary inspections per year in e.g. establishments producing meat products and minced meat to inspection as and when required e.g. in wine shops.

Need evaluation for individual operators
Need evaluation is done on establishment level. Differences between establishments regarding the ability and will to respect the food legislation will cause:
  • either less control fixed as elite ​frequencies for ordinary inspection of businesses, which have achieved elite status,​
  • or more control in the form of extra (follow-up) inspections of businesses, which have got sanctions. 
Examples
The tables below show the relations between risk groups and standard and elite frequencies for ordinary inspections per year for wholesale and retail businesses etc.​​

Wholesalers with and without production​​

Risk group
Standard frequency
Elite frequency
Elite 2 frequency
Examples of businesses
Very high
5
3
2
Slaughterhouse
High
3
1
-
Brewery
Medium
1
0,5
-
Warehouse with food of vegetable origin
Low
0,5
0,5
-
Wholesale trade of wine and liquor
Very low
As and when required
-
-
Agency trade of  food
 

Retailers

Risk group
Standard frequency
Elite frequency
Examples of businesses
Very high
 
 
 
High
2
1
Butcher
Medium
1
0,5
Baker
Low
0,5
0,5
Grocer's shop
Very low
As and when required
-
Wine shop
 
Elite establishments
Businesses in sectors with a standard frequency of 0,5 (i. e. control every second year) or more achieve elite status, if they have received no sanctions on the last 4 inspection reports and have received no sanctions within the last 12 months. 

Businesses in sectors with standard frequency of 1 or more will have fewer inspections according to elite frequencies, if they have achieved elite status.

Businesses that have achieved elite status can use an Elite-smiley in their marketing.
 
You can read more about smileys and elite businesses on www.findsmiley.dk.
 
Sanctions
When an inspector discovers that ​an establishment violates the food law he can choose to react the following ways:
  • No sanction – if the violation is so small that it would be out of proportion to sanction.  ​The inspector can use guidance instead.
  • Warning
  • Injunction
  • Prohibitory order
  • Administrative fine
  • Reporting to the police
  • Approval or registration withdrawn
​The inspectors give the sanctions deemed necessary to ensure that the establishment corrects the non-compliance. If the establishment still fails to comply with the food law, the sanctioning is escalated to a more severe sanction. 
 
Control visits are without warning
Inspections are with few exceptions always carried out unannounced.
 
Meat control
Meat control takes place in all slaughterhouses in Denmark. No animal can be slaughtered and used for human consumption without prior inspection by a veterinarian.

Veterinarians and auxiliaries perform ante- and post-mortem controls. They also audit own-check programmes and other procedures, and inspect e. g. hygiene and animal welfare.

Last Modified 5. October 2016