Sécurité sanitaire et qualité des aliments

EMPRES Food Safety

As our world changes, the vigilant pursuit of food safety must evolve continuously to keep up with the increased complexity of value chains and globalization of the food supply. When food safety is compromised, issues can quickly evolve from a local problem to an international incident/emergency. Hence it is critical to ensure that systems along the value chains involving both private and public stakeholders are able to prevent and control food safety risks.

Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES) Food Safety was established in 2009. Complementing FAO’s EMPRES systems in animal and plant health, EMPRES Food Safety aims to contribute towards fulfilling FAO’s mandate of ensuring access to a safe and affordable food supply for the world’s population. 

The two main areas of EMPRES food safety focus on:

  1. Proactive identification of emerging issues (foresight, early warning); and
  2. Coordination and management of INFOSAN

This work aims at developing capacities and systems that will help prevent food safety emergencies and strengthen preparedness for such events.


The application of foresight approaches to support the identification of critical and emerging issues effecting the safety of food chains is key to the prevention of and preparedness for food safety emergencies. FAO is working with countries to help stimulate and initiate national foresight processes. This includes working with multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary teams in Africa to identify promising techniques and understand challenges that countries face in developing mechanisms of their own. Further work is ongoing in the context of FAO/WHO Regional Committee meetings to facilitate the identification of emerging issues most likely to affect the safety of foods.


FAO, jointly with WHO, supports national authorities in strengthening their participation in the INFOSAN network. FAO, in particular, works with countries encouraging all the relevant players in food safety - including  ministries of agriculture and trade - to actively participate in the network. This networking across sectors aims to support an exchange and communication system both in general and in the case of food safety emergencies.

Read more about INFOSAN

Prevention and preparedness tools