The European Parliament has approved European Commission food hygiene proposals which will harmonise legislation throughout the EU. The new legislation consists of two basic regulations which will replace the existing 17 directives governing food hygiene, animal health aspects of food products of animal origin, and official inspections of products of animal origin. The change from directive to regulation makes the legislation mandatory throughout the EU. The emphasis in the new legislative package, which now has to be approved by Council, is that food operators throughout the chain must bear full responsibility for the safety of the food they produce. An important feature of the version now adopted by the parliament is amendments allowing exceptions from stringent rules for traditional products and regional foods. MEPs also ensured that the regulation should not apply to the primary production of food for domestic use nor to the direct supply of small quantities of primary products such as honey, wild game, fish and home grown fruit to the final consumer or to the local retail trade. The new regulation will mean that most food business operators will have to adopt specific hygiene measures and annually undergo training on food hygiene. This training will also cover legislation on the protection of health and prevention of infection. {{NEWS }}