1. Overall educational project objective
Training courses will consist of a mix of theoretical and practical sessions with emphasis on the practical exercises, using also “real life” case-studies, where appropriate.
Discussion sessions will be organised for exchange of views and feedback from participants and with the aim to facilitate formation of future networks and to enable participants to disseminate knowledge to others on return to their authority.
The time allocated to group work will be balanced with the theoretical lectures in order to provide participants with the opportunity to apply the knowledge acquired every day.
Participants will be encouraged to effectively participate in discussion rounds, team work and exchanges of national best practices, so that they can benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience.
For most of the topics, participants will train and implement the achieved knowledge in practical case studies. The topic will then be opened up to general discussion in which delegates will raise and discuss general issues, or specific problems of their own country. The tutors will facilitate these exchanges of experience.
The case studies will be simplified in order to allow the participants to have time to apply all the taught methods within the timeframe of the course.
To help the tutors address key issues in their presentations, and to provide topics for later discussion, delegates are asked to complete a questionnaire prior to the workshop, in which they identify and provide details on specific issues or concerns they have for each topic.
2. Learning objectives
The general objectives for these training courses are:
- Develop a broad knowledge of different hazards (chemical, biological and physical) that can occur along the food chain;
- Provide information about problems that are inherent to specific production, processing, conservation and distribution methods to identify non-compliance and fraudulent practices;
- Raise awareness and develop knowledge about EU laws and ensure their correct enforcement;
- Promote a harmonised approach to the operation of EU and national control systems by sharing best practices.
This course will generally focus on:
Course 1 (Plant products): will provide advanced training in practical application of the EU procedures, legislative requirements and precautionary measures related to general hygiene rules, in particular microbiological contamination, and controls applying to food business producing or harvesting plant products.
Course 2 (Aquatic animals and products of animal origin derived thereof): will develop deeper knowledge in practical application of the EU legislation, precautionary measures and specific rules related to general controls and hygiene rules applying to food business rearing and harvesting aquatic animals (e.g. aquaculture animals, live bivalve molluscs) or producing primary products of animal origin derived thereof.
Course 3 (Domestic land animals and products of animal origin derived thereof): will improve practical application of the EU provisions, legislations and precautionary measures related to general hygiene rules and controls applying to food business rearing domestic land animals (e.g. cattle, pigs and poultry) or producing primary products of animal origin derived thereof.
These BTSF trainings are meant to strengthen the NCA and to ensure a harmonized approach on the implementation of legislation and official controls throughout the EU member states. Such approach ensures and maintains a high level of consumer protection and animal/ plant health, promotes a harmonized approach to the operation of Community and national control systems, enhances trade of safe food and creates an equal level playing field for all food businesses.
The legislative “Food Package” dates of 2004 and as evolved ever since, adapting to the reality and answering the needs and the crisis that arose since that date. Guides to good practices were created and proven to be very useful to the Veterinary Officers/Inspectors/Official Staff of the NCA and also to the primary producers all around Europe.
A big part of the needs assessment on these fields, in terms of training, is obtained through the FVO Audits results, DG Health and Food Safety audits and inspections and from the feedback given by the MS.
Training on Official controls on the three main areas of primary production (meat, fish/bivalve molluscs and plants) is proven to be essential and a recurrent need to several EU countries. Once all the legislative context is explained, several specific topics on each domain will be discussed; adding to this, a wide and relevant practical content using innovative methods and tools and a field visit will give an in-depth big picture of the training subjects.
For each topic a specialized team of experts was gathered paying close attention not only to their scientific and technical knowledge but also to their training and communication competences.