The role of food control is to ensure the safety of food and its handling and the accuracy of any information provided on the food, in addition to protecting consumers from any health hazards and financial losses caused by food that does not comply with food regulations. Food control also provides operators with guidance and advice related to food establishments and food safety. The responsibility for food safety and compliance with regulations always rests with the operator.
Food control monitoring data is published in the Oiva system across Finland. Oiva reports are prepared based on inspections at food establishments (such as stores, restaurants, fast-food establishments and institutional catering facilities), and the results are indicated with smiley faces. The displaying of the Oiva report is mandatory as of 1 January 2014. The Oiva report must be displayed in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the food establishment, where the customers can see it. Oiva reports are published online on the www.oivahymy.fi website, and companies must also provide a link to the Oiva report on their own website if they market food on the website.
Under the Food Act (23/2006), all operators in the food industry must prepare a written in-house control plan. The responsibility for preparing the plan rests with the operator, who is the best expert of his or her own operations. Functional in-house control increases food safety and makes the operations of the establishment more systematic.