ECCA-Biotox Symposium

 In Company News

Food safety first… The ECCA-BIOTOX laboratory held its annual event on the 29th of October, with a theme entitled “Food Safety First”. Nearly 200 food-processing industrialists, as well as the mayor of Merelbeke, Mr Filip Thienpont, attended the symposium, which took place in the beautiful Ghelamco Arena infrastructures in Ghent.  It must be said that the programme was fairly enticing…

Mrs Eva Benijts, financial director, and Mr Tom Benijts, operational director of ECCA-BIOTOX, gave an introduction, mentioning the fine evolution of the ECCA laborary, which was created 35 years ago and reinforced by the purchase of BIOTOX in 2007. It is now an international standard, employing 100 people. Eva Benijts also took the time to remind the audience of the close links that have existed with Euro Consultants for the last 25 years.

Mr Geert De Poorter (Economy FOD, Quality and Security managing director) spoke about the operating principles of the Economy FOD, including the handling of complaints and the prevention of food crises. He took 2 recent examples, the horsemeat crisis and the whisky fraud, insisting on the analytical controls put in place and their values.

Mrs Vicky Lefevre (AFSCA-FAVV managing director) outlined the way the agency works and disclosed the 2015-2017 business plan, which includes no less than 550.000 analyses for 2016… She also went over the statistics from the last 3 years regarding inspections, warnings, notices issued and number of Smileys, which went from 19.534 in 2012 to 22.163 in 2014. Also of note: the FOEDEX project, a call for more cooperation between the different food-processing actors, both at the national and the international levels…

Christof Van Poucke, pharmacist (ILVO), spoke about the fundamentals of allergic reactions and their causes and consequences. He went over the relevant legislation, methods of detection and the production demands. The audience, who was alert and reactive, did not hesitate to ask some touchier questions about ambiguities in the law or the impossibility to apply certain criteria…

Bert Gabriels, the Flemish comedian, had been chosen to sum up the presentations… It seems safe to say that he managed to lighten up the mood, judging by the laughs coming from the audience… and from the speakers.

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