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Food safety: a right or a privilege - Understanding the importance of food safety to the food security and nutrition agenda

Second International Conference On Nutrition (ICN2) - Food Safety Side Event 19 November 2014







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    Meeting
    FAO/WHO Regional Conference on Food Safety for the Americas and the Caribbean - FInal Report - San Jose (Costa Rica), 6-9 December 2005
    Practical actions to promote food safety
    2006
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    Ensuring safe food is essential for the protection of human health and for improving the quality of life in all countries. The importance of safe food, whether domestically produced and consumed, imported or exported, is well known by the countries of the Americas and the Caribbean. An estimated 57,000 deaths have occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean as a result of food- and waterborne diarrhoea in 2004, but even this estimated burden likely greatly underestimates the true magnitude of th e food-borne disease problem in the region. Each food-borne disease outbreak results in a number of direct and indirect costs, in addition to the resultant human suffering. Furthermore, food safety is foundational to all other issues in the area of nutrition and food security, as well as international trade of foods. Food exports from the region are currently worth some US$66 billion, or 12% of the world's total food trade, and this figure could increase rapidly over the coming decades if food s afety and quality standards are improved. Despite these well-known and important reasons, many challenges remain to improving food safety in the region. The countries of the region recognize the importance of developing practical actions for capacity building to overcome these challenges and to promote food safety in the region. Accordingly, following the guidance of the FAO/WHO governing bodies, in line with the suggestions made by the participants at the first and second Joint FAO/WHO Global Fora of Food Safety Regulators (GF1-Morocco, January 2002 and GF2- Thailand, October 2004) and the kind invitation of the Government of Costa Rica, FAO and WHO jointly convened the first Regional Conference on Food Safety for the Americas and the Caribbean in San José, Costa Rica from 6 to 9 December 2005. The Conference brought together over 175 delegates from 32 member countries of the Americas and the Caribbean and observers from 14 international governmental and non-governmental organizatio ns to discuss food safety issues in the region, under the general theme of “Practical Actions to Promote Food Safety”. The participants at the Conference recommended a series of practical actions to the member countries and to FAO and WHO to strengthen food safety systems in the region. It was generally recognized by the participants that although the convening of the Conference itself was successful, its true success can only be measured by the degree of implementation of the recommended actio ns of the Conference and the improved safety of foods produced and consumed in the region.
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    Booklet
    Food safety considerations to achieve best health outcomes under limited food availability situations
    Case study
    2022
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    Food security means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life. Food safety is interlinked with and essential to achieving food security. In times of food insecurity, humanitarian relief in the form of food aid is often distributed by specialized organizations, such as the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). Under conditions of food assistance there are food safety considerations that must be taken in account so as to carefully evaluate the impact on food availability while minimizing the risk of exposure to foodborne contaminants among the receiving population, who may already be vulnerable to malnutrition. This case study lays out food safety consideration that might be helpful in situations where the impact of limited food availability is mitigated through food aid, which is meant to ensure acceptable health using two scenarios– lead in maize and fumonisins in cereal grains. Risk management and recommendations are also provided on how to address these food safety issues.
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    Book (series)
    Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition in Europe and Central Asia 2018
    The role of migration, rural women and youth in sustainable development
    2018
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    The Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition in Europe and Central Asia 2018 provides new evidence for monitoring trends in food security and nutrition within the framework of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The in-depth analysis of progress made against Sustainable Development Goal 2 Target 2.1 (to end hunger and ensure access to food by all) and Target 2.2 (to end all forms of malnutrition), as well as the state of micronutrient deficiencies, is complemented by a review of recent policy measures taken to address food security and nutrition in all its dimensions. The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region encompasses great economic, social and environmental diversity, and its countries are facing various food security and nutrition challenges. While they have made significant progress in reducing the prevalence of undernourishment over the past two decades, new evidence shows a stagnation of this trend, particularly in Central Asia. Malnutrition in one or more of its three main forms – undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity – is present to varying degrees in all countries of the region. Often, all three forms coexist, creating what is called the “triple burden of malnutrition.” Overweight among children and obesity among adults continue to rise – with now almost one-fourth of the region’s adults obese – and constitute a significant concern for future health and well-being and related costs. While poverty levels in most ECA countries have been declining in recent years, poverty coupled with inequality has led to increased vulnerability of disadvantaged groups and populations in rural and remote areas of low- and lower-middle-income countries. New analysis shows that adult women have a higher prevalence of severe food insecurity than men in some areas, pointing to gender inequalities that are reflected in access to food. Addressing gender and other inequalities is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and heeding the call to “leave no one behind.” The publication’s focus this year is on migration, gender and youth and the linkages with rural development and food security in Europe and Central Asia. Migration is linked in multiple ways to gender, youth, and agricultural and rural development – both as a driver and possible source of development opportunities, with labour migration and remittances playing significant roles in the region. Changing migration processes need to be fully understood to better address the challenges of migration and harness the potential benefits for sustainable development and revitalized rural areas. Governments, public and private institutions, communities and other concerned parties must strengthen collaboration and scale up efforts towards achieving the goals of a thriving, healthy and food-secure region.

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