Goals of the project

The overall objective of HOLiFOOD is to improve the food safety risk analysis framework in Europe to:

  • Meet future challenges arising from Green Deal policy driven transitions, in particular in relation to climate driven changes
  • Support the realisation of a truly safe and sustainable food production.
  • Contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2, 8, 9, 12, 15)


 Specifically the project aims to develop:

  • Early Warning and Emerging Risk Prediction Systems to identify and monitor existing and emerging food safety risks (ERI) in the food chain.​

  • Targeted and non-targeted detection methods for existing and emerging hazards.

  • Holistic risk assessment methods and tools to support regulation in a changing global environment.

  • Improved data and knowledge sharing infrastructures by developing an Integrated European Data and Knowledge Exchange Infrastructure that will be able to power an ecosystem of decision support systems.

Why are these goals important

Food safety is a crucial element in sustainable food production and food security. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that foodborne diseases cause 23 million cases of illnesses and 5,000 deaths every year in Europe, despite the high level of food safety standards in EU. The Rapid Alert for Food and Feed (RASFF) database, that reports incidents of food safety contaminations in EU, shows more than 3,000 notifications every year, especially regarding nuts, nut products and seeds, fruits and vegetables, poultry meat and poultry meat products.

To achieve a secure and resilient food system, improvement to key components in the risk analysis framework are necessary. This includes risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication, which should be integrated into governance practices according to stakeholder requirements and priorities.

The project will...

1. Utilize a systems approach

We will use a systems approach that takes into account the entire food production environment.

How? By combining Big Data and Artificial Intelligence techniques to support the delivery of early warning and risk prediction systems.

2. Produce a holistic risk assessment method

We will produce holistic risk assessment methods that embed food safety risk in a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the food system, weighing up the positive and negative health, environmental, and economic dimensions.

3. Study three supply chains

We will study three supply chains in detail (poultry, maize, and lentils) for emerging and re-emerging risks, enabling researchers to generate adaptive models that will be applied to the entire food system.

4. Integrate consumer and user requirements

We will consider consumer preferences and user requirements at every stage of the project, using Living Labs and a multi-actor engagement approach to involve all stakeholders (e.g., authorities, food producers, and citizens).