The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has hosted regulators from different countries to discuss how to prepare for food safety crises and manage incidents.
It was the first face-to-face meeting of the International Heads of Food Agencies Forum (IHFAF) since the COVID-19 pandemic. The group was created in 2020 by FSAI, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).
Opened by Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing and National Drugs Strategy, the event featured 17 regulatory agencies. The countries includes: Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, China, Morocco, Singapore, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The forum was also attended by officials from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and Codex Alimentarius Commission.
Ensuring safe food
Sessions included sharing information on the systems in place to identify risks and threats, a reflection on lessons learned from some major food safety and food fraud incidents and examples of best practices and common pitfalls to avoid.
CEO of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, Dr. Hisham bin Saad Aljadhey, chaired one of the sessions. Participants reviewed best practices in communication during crises from the perspective of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), and the communication system on risks and crises of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Officials from Saudi Arabia also met with people from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), and the Singapore Food Agency.
Naughton said she hoped the event would provide opportunities to ensure safe food by protecting the health and wellbeing of consumers.
International collaboration, play an important role in preparing for, and responding to, food safety incidents.
Although, globalization in the food production chain has allowed access to new markets. It is also important to note, that any failure in the food chain could have repercussions on the health of the consumers to whom the batch produced reaches.
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News Desk. (2023a, May 12). Regulators meet in Ireland to debate food safety issues | Food Safety News. Food Safety News. https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2023/05/regulators-meet-in-ireland-to-debate-food-safety-issues/