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Food safety: a fundamental aspect of public policies


On June 8, the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) of Costa Rica, with the technical collaboration of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) held the web seminar "Sustainable Production and its Relation to Food Safety". The webinar was also attended by the Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, Guilherme da Costa Jr and by several panellists representing different institutions and entities of the public and private sector.

Costa Rica WFSD

Guilherme da Costa and Luìsa Dìaz

The Minister of Economy, Industry and Trade, Victoria Hernández Mora, offered words of welcome in which she celebrated the second World Food Safety Day - a proposal that had been promoted by the Government of Costa Rica - emphasizing the importance of food safety as a fundamental aspect of public policies and stressed that this day was a good opportunity to raise awareness among all actors in the food chain, from farm to fork, as safety requires an integrated and participatory approach. In this celebration influenced by the coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19), The Minister stressed that while COVID-19 was not transmitted by food, there was a need to put more emphasis on food safety, and to contribute to the objectives of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Safe food: a value for everyone

The seminar was further divided into two parts. In the first part, the panellists addressed various aspects related to the agoindustrial production, highlighting the importance of risk management activities; the link between climate and food and how this impacts on food safety and food security; and the role of standards as a tool for organizations working in the food sector, to contribute to the sustainable development and to improve the quality of life of the people.

Costa Rica WFSD

Discussion panel online

The second part dealt with issues that directly affected food safety, e.g. packaging that can be recycled and composted; treatments to eliminate pathogenic microorganisms in the processing of fruit and vegetable juices; COVID-19 and food safety and the need to reduce the risk factors not only posed by COVID-19, but also to prevent other types of disease; the need to apply good agricultural and manufacturing practices to cocoa and chocolate processing; and how biotechnology could contribute to improving the characteristics and increasing the nutritional value of food and prevent the development of pathogens, further promoting food safety.