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   Completion  of  the single market means that all foodstuffs may  be  sold
   throughout the entire Community.  The confidence of 340 million consumers
   in  these  foods  has to be increased because it  is  through  them  that
   individuals will experience the single market every day.  There can  only
   be  mutual  trust  when food controls are carried out  in  an  equivalent
   manner in all of the Member States, thereby ensuring:

   -  health protection,
   -  protection of the consumer from being misled and
   -  the protection of fair trading.

   The  Food Control Directive 89/397/EEC harmonizes the basic  requirements
   for official food control but at the same time recognizes that the Member
   States  need a certain amount of freedom in order to be able to  maintain
   traditional,  established  structures.  The Community has no  problem  in
   accepting different national food inspection procedures as long as it  is
   ensured that Community food legislation is properly applied.  One way  in
   which the Commission can check whether this is being done is by  carrying
   out a Community-wide inspection programme.

   As  an  extension  of  the Food  Control  Directive,  the  Commission  is
   therefore putting forward a recommendation for a Community programme  for
   the  inspection of foodstuffs.  The programme will be implemented by  the
   Member States within the framework of their own control programmes.  This
   is  the  first  time that the Commission has set  up  such  a  programme,
   following consultation of the Member States.

   The proposed programme is as follows:

   Health  protection  means it is necessary to  carry  out  microbiological
   tests  on ice cream and prepared dishes.  In addition to  bacteria  which
   might  be  indicative  of  a  lack  of  hygiene  during  production   and
   processing, these foods are therefore now also to be tested for pathogens
   such as salmonella or listeria.  

   Consumers  also  expect  a high level of protection  in  the  baby  foods
   sector.  Determination  of  the concentrations in baby  foods  containing
   vegetables  of  nitrate and nitrite, which are hazardous to  health,  has
   therefore obviously been included.

   The  inpsection  of  orange  juice for  adulteration  and  of  expensive,
   deep-frozen  seafoods  such  as lobster, crab and mussels  to  check  the
   accuracy  of the weights indicated is intended to protect consumers  from
   being misled.  These tests inspections also ensure fair trading.

   The  Member States decided what the inspections would focus on  and  will
   carry  out  the programme using their own food control  authorities,  the
   Commission  playing  a  coordinating role.  The  Community  Food  Control
   Programme is therefore a good example of the principle of subsidiarity.

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