The purpose of food control is to provide consumers with food that is safe and meets all the appropriate requirements. This is made possible by assuring the conformity of the food-chain as a whole – from producing raw material for food until the moment it become available for the consumer. From the other hand, a consumer should be given sufficient and authenticated information on food that allows him/her to make the appropriate choices.
In Estonia the food sphere (incl. handling of raw material for food and food, self-control of a food handling operator and governmental supervision) is regulated by the Food Act and Directive of the European Parliament and the European Council 178/2002/EEC
, establishing general legal principles and requirements in food area, founding European Food Safety Administration and establishing the procedures, connected with food safety. The food sphere is, in addition to the Food Act and its implementing acts, regulated by numerous other laws and regulations and the EU legislation that is directly applicable. More specific references to the legislation, regulations of the Government of the Republic and ministers and the EU legislation is given in the section dealing with legal acts.
As provided by the Food Act, food control or governmental supervision shall be performed in Estonia by the Veterinary and Food Board, the Health Protection Inspectorate, the Estonian Consumer Protection Board and the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.
As provided by law, the Veterinary and Food Board is to perform supervision of all the spheres of handling and materials and items, specified in Article 1 (2) of the Regulation of the European Parliament and the European Council No. 35/2004/EC.