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master degree course in FOOD SAFETY AND CONTROL

Course year 2
Teaching units Unit Diritto della sicurezza alimentare
Related or Additional Studies (lesson)
  • TAF: Supplementary compulsory subjects SSD: IUS/03 CFU: 3
Teachers: Silvia MANSERVISI
Unit Diritto penale della sicurezza alimentare
Related or Additional Studies (lesson)
  • TAF: Supplementary compulsory subjects SSD: IUS/17 CFU: 3
Teachers: Francesco DIAMANTI
Exam type oral
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language Lingua italiana
Contents download pdf download


Francesco DIAMANTI


With regard to knowledge, the aim of the course is twofold: firstly, to provide students with an outline of the fundamentals of current food law, by focusing on multi-level placement of the sources of food law, and especially on provisions and principles developed by the European Union. These are the main and most important sources of modern food law in light of the primacy of EU law over Member States' domestic law. Particular attention will be paid to Regulation (EC) 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety.
In addittion the course seeks to prompt student interest in current and emerging issues around EU involvement in the food sector. Through close engagement with both the most recent case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the latest official documents of the EU institutions, students will be able to trace evolving lines of development.
The second half of the course will be devoted to agri-food punitive law, in order to understand the function of criminal law as applied to the world of agri-food: the student will thus understand both the basics of criminal law (especially the general part and the system of sanctions) and the existing cases in protection of public health and that of individual consumers, whether in the Criminal Code (e.g. Art. 440 of the Criminal Code) or in special laws (e.g. Law no. 283/1962).

Admission requirements


Course contents

The credits for each program activity may vary according to the updating needs as well as the learning time of the students and will be divided as follows:

1 CFU: 8 hours
The definition of Food security and Food safety also in the light of the agenda 2030 SDGs. General overview on the multilevel system of sources of food law: National sources, European Union and international, especially EU sources on food safety and general background on the characters of EU law (primary and secondary).

1 CFU: 8 hours
The legal definition of food, and the scope of food law. Legal definition of “food business”, “food business operator”, “consumer of foodstuffs”. The safety requirements of food and feed. Risk analysis, risk management and risk communication, and general framework of the European Food Safety Authority. From RASFF (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) to IMSOC (Information management system for official controls). Protected designations of origin, protected geographical indications and traditional specialties guaranteed.

1 CFU: 8 hours
The food information to consumers, particularly with regard to labeling. The regulation (EU) n. 1169/2011: the name of the food, the distinction between the date of minimum durability (and its valorization in the context of the circular economy) or the ‘use by’ date; the nutrition declaration) et
Nutritional and health claims. Profiles of the competences of the Antitrust Authority (Italian Competition Authority). The "hygiene" package. The official controls.

1 CFU: 8 hours
The general principles of criminal law (legality, culpability, offensiveness, etc.), the prohibition of analogy in malam partem and a general introduction to the system of penalties. The basic distinctions in criminal law (e.g. offences and fines).

1 CFU: 8 hours
The theory of crime studied within its two main categories (tort and culpability) and a general introduction to the forms of manifestation of crime (concurrence of persons, concurrence of offences, etc.).

1 CFU: 8 hours
Introduction to punitive agri-food law: administrative offences, contraventions, offences against public health, crimes of damage (e.g. murder and injury). The entire system of agri-foodstuffs criminal law will be examined in depth, starting with the so-called "specific" special laws and the so-called "general" special law (Law no. 283/1962), and then moving on to the crimes covered by the code.

Teaching methods

The course is offered in the First Semester on campus or remotely (in streaming) if the health conditions and the consequent organizational measures so require; students will be promptly updated. The teaching method involves the use of media (powerpoint) and is divided into lectures on the fundamentals of food law also complemented by critical examination of some jurisprudential cases. Attendance is not compulsory but strongly recommended.

Assessment methods

Exams will take place on campus, compatibly with the health provisions or particular technical needs. The exam consists of an oral examination of about 20 minutes that focuses on the content of the course in the light of the training objectives, through two main questions posed to the student on the right to food issues of the European Union and a question on the criminal law of the food safety. The evaluation criteria of the oral examination will be aimed at ascertaining knowledge of the topics covered, the ability to connect knowledge, the mastery of the technical-legal language and the ability to deepen the topics covered by the teaching. Students who attend classes will be able to choose one of the two questions, carrying out an in-depth study on one of the topics covered in class. The final evaluation will be, basically, the result of the average of the grade obtained by the student for each question, unless the failure of the exam has emerged from the beginning.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
At the end of the course, students will have acquired critical knowledge of the fundamental characteristics of the system of sources and of the principles of food law.

Applied knowledge and understanding:
At the end of the course, thanks to the in-depth analysis of sources and the analysis of concrete cases, students will be able to research, understand, and use food law sources and materials.

Autonomy of judgment:
At the end of the course, students will be able to use the acquired knowledge adequately and independently; they will have acquired the ability to critically analyze the subject in order to be able to correctly address emerging food problems using an engaging approach, especially the fundamental EU legislation as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the Union.

Communication skills:
At the end of the course, students will have acquired new skills on a technical-legal level, will have increased their ability to communicate and interact with legal practitioners and will be able to - effectively and appropriately use concepts, topics and terms of food law in oral form.

Learning ability:
At the end of the course, students will have acquired the ability to use the acquired knowledge independently and adequately for the continuous updating of their knowledge and skills.


L.COSTATO-P.BORGHI-S. RIZZIOLI-V.PAGANIZZA-L-SALVI, Compendio di diritto alimentare, 10 a ed., Wolters Kluwer, Cedam, Padova, 2022, capitolo primo (paragrafi da 1 a 6), capitolo secondo (paragrafi da 1 a 6, da 9 a 15), capitolo terzo (i paragrafi 1,2 e 5), capitolo quarto (tutto), capitolo quinto (paragrafi 4 e 5), capitolo sesto (paragrafi 2,4 e 5), capitolo settimo (paragrafi da 1 a 3).
Gli approfondimenti sono da leggere.
Il testo di recentissima pubblicazione è posseduto presso la Biblioteca universitaria giuridica dell’Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia.
Per lo studio della parte di diritto penale agroalimentare, le slide dettagliate fornite dal docente sostituiranno il libro di testo. Per approfondimenti si indica comunque A. GARGANI, Illeciti punitivi in materia agroalimentare, Torino, Giappichelli, 2021, i seguenti capitoli: 1, 6, 11, 12, 13.
Il testo è posseduto dalla Biblioteca universitaria giuridica dell’Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena.