The Food Safety System Through the Definitions of Reg. 178/2002 (by Eva Rook Basile) - This paper aims to present the food safety system, introduced with Reg. 178/2002 of 28 January 2002, as the final stage of a long series of EU interventions to regulate health and competition within the food industry. The problem the EU had to tackle was the reconciliation of the rarely converging interests of health with those of the market, a complex issue given the Community’s competitive competence with regard to health and its exclusive competence with regard to competition The food safety system based on Reg. 178/2002 introduces the shared adoption of principles of paramount importance such as the principles of precaution and traceability, as well as that of risk analysis and management. It also states the need to create institutional organisations, such as the European Food Safety Authority, in order to enable, even from an interpretative perspective, the organisation of the whole legal system around the above principles. In this system, definitions have a fundamental role as legal categories pertaining exclusively to the food sector. They are able to expand horizontally, even to other regulations on the same subject, as demonstrated by Reg. 852/2004 and Reg. 183/2005 on the hygiene of food and feedstuffs.