Kris de Smet, D.V.M., is the Head of the Food Hygiene Team under the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety at the European Commission. Dr. de Smet graduated as a Veterinary Doctor in 1987, and from 1988–1992, he was a Researcher at the University of Ghent, Belgium in the faculty of Veterinary Science. From 1992–2001, he was employed in the private sector, being mainly involved in veterinary services and quality control of poultry integration. Since 2001, Dr. de Smet has worked as an official at the European Commission under the Health and Food Safety Directorate-General, where he has been involved in the management of EU legislation on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and zoonoses (mainly Salmonella). Since the beginning of 2009, he has served as the head of the team coordinating EU legislation on control of food hygiene, official controls for products of animal origin, and control of foodborne zoonoses. He also coordinates the EU position at the Codex Alimentarius Committee Food Hygiene and is Co-Chair in the development of several Codex standards.            

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak with Dr. de Smet [3:01] about:

  • The ongoing work of the European Commission’s Food Hygiene Team and how it operates within the structure of the EC 
  • EU-wide trends in Salmonella control and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) mitigation, differences across Member States, and how trends in pathogen control are reflected in salmonellosis data
  • His work as part of the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene that finalized a 2022 guidance on microbiological foodborne illness outbreaks, the impacts of that guidance, and modern advancements that are helping address outbreaks
  • How the European Commission and Codex are approaching food safety culture in regulations and guidelines, how inspectors measure culture, and how businesses can improve and evaluate their own food safety cultures.

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