FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Joint FAO-WHO webinar looks at food safety control and management in 2020

Many countries have been – and some still are – in full or partial lockdown. Although the work to assess the impacts of COVID-19 to determine informed actions continues, it was also time to take stock on food safety in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To this end, FAO and WHO organized a joint webinar to share information and experiences on how food safety management, control, and attitudes have been affected by the new realities. The recording of the virtual event is now available online.

The multi-stakeholder panel of experts looked at the opportunities and challenges of this year from different perspectives. The event facilitated sharing of lessons learned and cooperation in Europe and Central Asia, as well as informing the ongoing work of FAO and WHO in the region.

While there is no evidence that food transmits COVID-19, the public health measures limiting the person-to-person spread of coronavirus have had an impact on food supply chains, trade, and consumer purchasing patterns. Food producers, processors, and consumers, and food safety authorities made the necessary adjustments, some of which concern food safety control and management.

“Beyond food safety, the COVID-19 pandemic raised awareness and concerns about the potential for diseases to spread  between humans, animals, and the environment, leading to a renewed focus on the One Health approach,” said Mary Kenny, FAO food safety and consumer protection  officer. “There is greater need for collaboration between the public health, agriculture, veterinary, and environment sectors.”

The webinar is part of an FAO series of regional COVID-19 webinars.

16 December 2020, Budapest, Hungary