Sounds like a pretty daunting set of rules, but the question there, as in the U.S., is this: Do food safety authorities have the resources to check on compliance?
Check out the 23-page "lessons learned" document on the E. coli sprout outbreak here.
Conclusions from that document:
Producers: From the point of view of the economic operators, this crisis created damages to the supply chain (direct losses, produce withdrawals) in excess of 1 billion € due to lost sales, low prices, overcapacity. Despite the EU compensation, full recovery will take years.
Trade: Arguably the biggest damage was on the image of fresh produce. EU consumers and in Third countries do associate fruit & vegetables with healthy nutrition, not with food poisoning. Reputation damage to specific produce (cucumbers) and Member States (Spain) was especially high. Restoring confidence takes much longer than the few seconds it took to destroy it, even if mistakenly.
Consumer: It became apparent that consumer information should be strengthened when it comes to good hygiene practices while preparing food and, in particular, when handling fruit and vegetables, such as in washing produce thoroughly as well as hands and kitchen utensils used to prepare fruit or vegetables which helps to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.
European Commission: The European Commission is working on the possibility to amend current implementing rules on crisis prevention and management after discussion in the Management Committee (over the course of the coming weeks) to reflect some of the lessons learnt during the E.coli crisis, e.g. with green/non- harvesting operations for greenhouses.
The Commission report on the 2008 Fruit & Vegetables Reform is set to be published by May / June 2013 which is some 7 months ahead of schedule and legislative proposals are expected to accompany the report. The formal launch of the Impact Assessment (IA) to accompany this legislative proposal has been launched in end March 2012 with the final IA report expected for May 2013.