Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge
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 Food Security


The National Health Plan (PNS) 2004-2010 recognize malnutrition as a major risk factor for chronic diseases as well as the foodborne infections as a public health problem and included in its strategic guidelines, to improve information and action on obesity, the promotion of healthy nutrition, the establishment of a new national food Survey, the strengthening of food security through the strengthening of epidemiological surveillance of foodborne infections and surveillance and monitoring of microbiological indicators of food and water quality.


Risks associated to the intake of chemical compounds with potential human health threats 

  • Transmit data of occurrence of chemical contaminants in food from different producers for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
  • Evaluate Portuguese population exposure to contaminants through diet and monitor the consumption of additives.
  • Food safety evaluation regarding genetically modified (GM), gathering evidence about their potential allergenicity higher versus original plants from which they originated and the impact of natural variability in the process of risk assessment.
  • Study the presence and migration of chemicals (starting substances, additives and waste) materials intended for contact with foodstuffs.


Risks related to the intake of microorganisms and /or its metabolites that are a  potential health threat

  • Promote the restoration collective Surveillance and Epidemiological Research Laboratory base of suspected outbreaks of foodborne infections.
  • Knowing the microbiological occurrences throughout the food chain (primary production, processing, distribution, retail, confection, restoration and human cases of food-borne infections) and food vehicles and factors that contribute most to the food infections.
  • Create and maintain Portuguese Network Information on Microbiological Food (RPIMA PortFIR), providing a national database of information microbiological food. The information is compiled, analyzed and made available nationally and the data reported annually to the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).
  • Systematize and integrate dispersed information on microbiological contamination of foods and assess their impact on health, raise awareness and contribute to the training of health professionals and others in food safety.
  • Provide information on good hygiene practices and food safety for the prevention of food-borne infections.