FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

COVID-19 and Food Safety Control and Management

Virtual event (webinar) , 16/12/2020 - 16/12/2020

While there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food, the public health measures implemented to limit the person to person spread of coronavirus have had an impact on food supply chains, trade and consumer purchasing patterns. Food producers, food processors, consumers and food safety competent authorities have made the necessary adjustments, some of which are relevant to food safety control and management.

Beyond the safety of food, the COVID-19 pandemic raised awareness and concern around the potential hazards that can affect humans, animals and the environment, leading to a renewed focus on the One Health approach, and the need for collaboration between the public health, agriculture, veterinary, and environment sectors.

To this end, the joint FAO-WHO webinar will share information and experiences on how food safety management, control, and attitudes have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The multi-stakeholder panel of experts will highlight opportunities and challenges from different perspectives. They will facilitate the sharing of lessons learned and cooperation in Europe and Central Asia, and inform about the work of FAO and WHO in the region.

Join the discussion on 16 December, 1.00-2.30 p.m. (CET)

Issues to be discussed:

  • Have food safety risks changed due to food supply chains disruptions, changes in food production and consumption patterns, or shifts in responsibilities among stakeholders (such as the government, private sector, consumers)?
  • With almost a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, what have we learned and what practical solutions or good practices have different stakeholders identified for managing food safety risks
  • What changes stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to remain (such as online shopping, third-party delivery, e-commerce) and do they present any potential food safety risks or challenges that need to be addressed? 
  • To what extent will food safety competent authorities adopt new work methods (use of information technologies for food safety, such as e-certification, block-chain data, and increased use of electronic documentation)? Will these changes make food safety controls more robust?