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Food Fraud

ASAE is the main control body of relevance under the Ministry of Economy (ME). It is responsible for the inspection of economic activity and, under the official control of foodstuffs, ensures the risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. 

ASAE is the competent authority in the areas of food and feed, and pesticides in food of non-animal origin among other areas and operates at national level through its three regional Units (North, Centre and South) which does not follow the administrative partition of the country. At central level, ASAE has the National Enforcement Unit (UNO) responsible for risk management and the coordination of official controls and inspections carried out by regional units, including the Food and Feed Inspection National Plan (PNFA). The ASAE’s official controls are performed at national lever throughout the whole food chain, namely primary production, processing, manufacture, storage, distribution, transport and retail.


ASAE is a Food Safety Authority and so a Law Enforcement Body with police powers that allows it to tackle and combat food fraud, and to take criminal prosecutions. Within its competence, has been implementing some national initiatives to combat food fraud, taking part in different international projects, namely:

i) Combating Food Crime by Strengthening Law Enforcement Cooperation (BACCUS), which is coordinated by the Carabinieri NAS (see http://baccus.unicampus.it/). This project has a duration of 36 months and is co-funded by the European Commission - Directorate General Home Affairs (EC-DGHA) in the framework of the “Prevention and Fight against Crime Programme”, sector “Operational law enforcement cooperation including Joint Investigation Teams - JITs”; 

ii) Ensuring the implementation of the European Programmes Coordinated proposed by the European Commission (DG Sanco);

iii) Ensuring national representation, with the EUROPOL under the Multidisciplinary European Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT), coordinated by EUROPOL. ASAE is designated as national representative of “Counterfeit goods with an impact on health and safety of people”.

iv) Taking part in the operational actions (OAP's), for Priority Counterfeit Goods.

Concerning the investigative approach in Portugal, ASAE has the legal and technical competence to deal with most of the situations along the food chain and within the economic activity, because it has an inspective body with the proper technical experts, and laboratories, may be considered as a best practice regarding EU fight against “food fraud”, according to the Commission, the attitude of enforcement bodies should be a policing approach. In the context of the ASAE’s national inspection plan (PNFA), ASAE has an operational plan of fraudulent practices in foodstuffs. This plan is based on indicators such as: 

i) Food susceptibility of being falsified or adulterated; 

ii) food consumption data; 

iii) economic value data of the food; 

iv) impact of falsification or adulteration on consumer safety and,

v) incident data on food fraud situations.

  • Denúncias  / Denúncias COVID-19
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  • PROJETOS COMPETE 2020
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  • Fraude Alimentar
  • Autoridade Europeia para a Segurança dos Alimentos (EFSA)
  • EEPLIANT 2
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