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Korea Food Safety Day embraces new technologies in regulatory science


Corinna Hawkes, the Codex Secretary ad interim and Director of the FAO Division of Agrifood Systems and Food Safety, delivered the opening speech at the Republic of Korea’s Food Safety Day, this week. This 23rd celebration of Korea Food Safety Day is celebrated under the slogan “Together for food safety, Healthy South Korea!” and is the largest commemorative event in Korea’s food safety calendar.

The event themes this year are digital food safety management, regulatory science using new technology and ensuring food safety in changing environments and, in her introductory speech, Dr Yu-Kyoung Oh, the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, outlined how the Ministry is working to transform the country’s food safety management system in line with new technologies. “We have established and are enhancing a system called safe-i 24, based on Artificial Intelligence, to meticulously review imported foods and food ingredients from around the world,” she said. “We are also expanding smart Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems to food manufacturers so that hazard factors can be automatically recorded and managed in the system.” She also described how authorities are promoting their “FoodQR” project, which allows consumers to conveniently receive information about food, such as safety information, nutritional information, and cooking methods.

In her opening remarks Dr Hawkes spoke about this year’s World Food Safety Day theme, “food safety: prepare for the unexpected” and underlined the need for everyone in the food chain to be food safety aware. “Let us reaffirm our collective commitment to proactivity and excellence in food safety standards, implementation, and education,” she said. “Together, let us strive towards a future where safe and nutritious food is a reality for all.” She went on to commend the Republic of Korea’s pivotal role in food safety leadership, citing the country’s support in implementing Codex standards, notably through the Action to support implementation of Codex AMR Texts (ACT) project and the Empowering low- and middle-income countries to leverage One Health to improve food safety and fair trade project, as well as the generous support extended to the Codex Trust Fund. She also acknowledged the Republic of Korea’s leadership in food safety at a regional level, through the Asia Pacific Food Regulatory Authorities Summit, which is held in parallel with Korea Food Safety Day.

Over 200 people were invited to the food safety celebrations, which also saw the participation of Moez Sanaa, Unit Head, Standards and Scientific Advice on Food and Nutrition at the World Health Organization and Diego Varela, Vice-Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and Executive Secretary of Chilean Food Safety and Quality Agency (ACHIPIA).

In his speech, Sanaa congratulated the Republic of Korea on the achievements made by the country on food safety: “Your dedication to ensuring the highest standards of food safety serves as an exemplary model for nations around the world.,” he said. He reflected on the themes of Korea Food Safety Day and underlined the World Food Safety Day theme of preparing for the unexpected, entreating those present to “remain mindful of the ongoing imperative to anticipate and address unexpected challenges. Preparedness is pivotal in mitigating the risks posed by emerging threats or disruptions to our food system, whether environmental, biological, or otherwise.”

Varela attended the event in his capacity as ACHIPA Head but also used his speech as a chance to highlight “the vast resources Codex Alimentarius has to assist countries on their journey to improve the functioning of their national control systems”, and highlighted the excellent role the Republic of Korea has as an active Member in Codex.

Watch the Korea Food Safety Day video

Read more

Korea Food Safety Day website
World Food Safety Day Communication Toolkit in Korean
Asia Pacific Food Regulatory Authorities Summit 2024
The ACT project