Food Control in Switzerland: An Overview


  • Otmar Deflorin President of the Swiss Cantonal Chemists Association, Kantonales Laboratorium, Muesmattstrasse 19, CH-3000 Bern 9, Switzerland.



Food control, Food safety


Switzerland is a confederation consisting of 26 states, the so-called 'cantons'. In the field of food control, the Swiss federal state is in charge of issuing the regulations (Food law and associated texts), whereas enforcement is assigned to the cantons. The offices in charge of food control are the cantonal laboratories headed by a 'Cantonal chemist'. These offices pursue three main goals: to protect consumer health, to protect the consumer against frauds and to ensure food handling under good hygiene conditions. To that purpose, the Cantonal chemist heads both a laboratory and a staff of inspectors, who are responsible for the control of food products (including meat and drinking water), the control of hygiene and production at factories, stores, restaurants, etc. as well as the control of common goods and household items such as toys, clothing, make-up, dishes, cookware, jewelry and so on. All laboratories and inspection bodies are accredited according to ISO norms EN 17'020 and EN 17'025. The offices headed by the cantonal chemists analyze annually about 110'000 samples on sale or from factories, whereas the inspection bodies perform roughly 45'000 inspections (without primary producers and occasional importers).




How to Cite

O. Deflorin, Chimia 2014, 68, 680, DOI: 10.2533/chimia.2014.680.



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