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World Food Safety Day celebrated at Nitte University, India, with an oration by Prof Alan Reilly


As a multidisciplinary University offering a Masters’ Programme in Food Safety and Biotechnology, Nitte University in Mangalore considered it very important to highlight the importance of food safety by celebrating World Food Safety Day on 7 June 2021. The highlight of the celebration was an oration by Professor Alan Reilly, former CEO of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

Professor Reilly spoke on “Strengthening National Food Safety Systems – Challenges in the era of Covid-19”. He outlined the theme of 2021 World Food Safety Day “Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow” and explained how food safety is a shared responsibility of all operators in the food chain from primary production to final consumption. He elaborated food safety challenges during COVID19 particularly with evidence emerging regarding the role of aerosols in the spread of SARS CoV2 and the associated risks to food processing personnel. However, he emphasised that food has not been implicated in the transmission of COVID19. Professor Reilly also spoke about the importance of adopting a One Health approach in managing food safety issues in the context of the emergence of zoonotic diseases as a major public health issue. He alluded to the importance of the One health approach in minimizing antimicrobial resistance.

The Vice Chancellor of Nitte University, Dr Satheesh Kumar Bhandary, while welcoming the oration, highlighted the measures being taken in the University to ensure that safe and nutritious food is delivered to the students residing in hostels in the University campus. The event was organised by Dr Iddya Karunasagar, Advisor, Research, and moderated by Dr Indrani Karunasagar, Director of Projects at Nitte University. The oration was attended by faculty, students, food industry representatives and scientists from other disciplines from across the country.