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Safe food for everyone

FAO's work on food safety: science, standards and good practices

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FAO. 2023. Safe food for everyone – FAO's work on food safety: science, standards and good practices. Rome.

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    Book (stand-alone)
    Development of an analytical tool to assess Biosecurity legislation 2007
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    Globalization of trade in agricultural products brings opportunities and risks. On the one hand, it generates wealth in countries exporting their produce to foreign markets and brings that produce to the tables of consumers in faraway lands. On the other hand, it opens new pathways for pests and diseases that can damage natural resources with accompanying economic and environmental consequences. In order to capture those opportunities and manage those risks, there is an increasing re cognition of the need to integrate and improve coordination of regulatory activities designed to protect human, animal and plant life and health and the environment. Interest in Biosecurity comes in response to these needs. It attempts to draw together the policy and regulatory frameworks for risk assessment and risk management across the sectors of food safety, animal life and health (including fisheries) and plant life and health. Biosecurity aims to manage biological risks in th ese three sectors while protecting the environment and contributing to its sustainable use. In essence, Biosecurity balances enthusiasm for international trade with the need to protect against risks. Transparent and efficient controls in these sectors need not create unnecessary barriers to international trade; rather they facilitate it.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Food safety guidelines: Keeping workers safe along the food supply chain in acutely food insecure contexts
    Webinar – 30 June 2021: Summary points, questions and answers
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    Keeping food and food workers safe is even more complex during a global pandemic crisis and all stakeholders must contribute to maintaining 360 degree oversight of every aspect of the food supply chain. Workers in the food supply chain play an indispensable role in sustaining the movement of food along the supply chain. Therefore, keeping workers, production facilities, transport infrastructure and all other areas in the supply chain safe, is critical for mitigating the impacts of this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in a longstanding partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), is involved in a range of initiatives to support global food safety and protect the health of both consumers and workers. As part of the comprehensive COVID-19 response and recovery programme, FAO and its partners are working to prevent the pandemic from disrupting food systems. While COVID-19 is not transmitted by food products, disruptions precipitated by the primary and secondary effects of the pandemic have put food supplies at risk all over the world, while simultaneously raising awareness on food safety-related issues. Concerted efforts on the food supply chain and more specifically the health and safety of workers, will help the most food insecure countries mitigate the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and boost resilience for the long term by facilitating food and agricultural trade, preventing the spreading of any future zoonotic pandemic and helping the transition of the food systems towards sustainability. FAO, in the publication "Food safety in the time of COVID-19", provides sound principles of environmental sanitation, personal hygiene and established food safety practices to reduce the likelihood that harmful pathogens will threaten the safety of the food supply. Additionally, component IV of FAO’s COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan is supporting awareness raising and sensitization campaigns among food workers at all levels. Against this background, the webinar aimed at bringing together an array of diverse partners and experts to discuss issues surrounding occupational health and safety risks along the food supply chain. The discussion focused on food safety guidelines as well as the experiences and learnings from different contexts among the most acutely food insecure countries.
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    Addressing Food Safety Challenges of the Asia-Pacific Region 2018
    In the Asia and the Pacific region, food safety is important from the dual perspectives of improving public health and nutrition and enhancing trade in food commodities. Concerns of consumers on the fitness for consumption of food produced and traded across borders needs to be allayed through effective risk-based systems that assure safety and quality throughout the food chain. The paper discusses the key challenges being faced, some solutions, and potential partnerships (private sector, civil society, South-South triangular cooperation, development partners) that can be used to enhance food safety systems in the region. It describes FAO’s contribution to the strengthening of technical capacity to implement risk-based approaches in critical areas such as food inspection, monitoring, and surveillance; laboratory analysis; import control and strengthening the evidence base required for the framing of rules, regulations and procedures. It explains, with examples, how improved food-control measures and codes of practice can be implemented at every step of the chain, enabling smallholders to produce safer food and gain access to markets. It underscores the importance of implementing FAO’s action plan for tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through technical capacity development, evidence generation, governance and dissemination of good practices. The paper dwells on FAO's One Health Regional Initiative, currently being rolled out, as an expanded multidisciplinary opportunity to demonstrate benefits to agriculture, food systems and the environment in the region. It argues that the adoption of voluntary and international food standards, especially from Codex, can lead to multiple wins for the consumer, for the private sector and the government in the form of safer and more nutritious food, increased innovation and trade and better public health. Ministers are invited to advise FAO on areas of focus in the development of national capacities in core technical areas of food safety and cohesive actions to harmonize food safety standards in the Asia-Pacific region to safeguard public health and promote trade.

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