Food safety and quality

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The second in a series of the ad hoc Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Risk Assessment of Food Allergens was held from 15 March to 2 April 2021. The main purpose of the second meeting was to establish threshold levels in foods of the priority allergens. When reviewing the datasets on milk and sesame during the second meeting in 2021, the Expert Committee identified significant datasets not yet included in the dose distribution modelling. The Expert Committee agreed that these datasets should be considered for inclusion and to reconvene to establish threshold levels [reference dose (RfD) values] for milk and sesame when updated analyses became available.
2022
The labelling of food allergens in pre-packaged foods plays a key role in protecting food allergic individuals, as no preventative clinical treatment is currently available. The list of major foods and ingredients known to cause hypersensitivity was included into the Codex General Standard for the Labelling of Packaged Foods (GSLPF) in 1999. There have been many scientific developments in the understanding of food allergens and their management since the original drafting of the GSLPF. Thus, in response to the request from Codex for scientific advice, including current evidence of consumer understanding of allergens, FAO and WHO convened a series of three expert meetings to provide scientific advice on this subject. The purpose of the first meeting of the Ad hoc Joint...
2022
A meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) was held on a virtual online platform from 24 March to 1 April 2022. The purpose of the meeting was to evaluate the safety of certain food contaminants, specifically the trichothecenes T-2, HT-2 and 4,15-diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS). The exposure assessment and the chemical characterization had already been carried out at the ninetieth meeting of the Committee. Therefore, the purpose of this meeting was to review the toxicological data on the trichothecenes T-2, HT-2 and DAS and conduct a safety evaluation and a reevaluation of the combined dietary exposure. The present meeting was the ninety-third in a series of similar meetings.
2022
A virtual JEMRA meeting on Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) associated with meat and dairy products was convened from 1 to 26 June 2020 to provide scientific advice on measures for pre- and postharvest control of STEC in animals and foods of animal origin. The meeting participants are listed in Annex 1 of this summary report. This document summarizes the conclusions of the meeting. The full report will be published in due course as part of the FAO and WHO Microbiological Risk Assessment (MRA) Series. If conditions had permitted, this meeting would have been held at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. Because of the travel restrictions and lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic in many countries, the joint FAO/WHO secretariat...
2022
In this publication, the FAO Food Safety Foresight programme provides an overview of the major global drivers and trends by describing their implications for food safety in particular and for agrifood systems by extrapolation. The various drivers and trends reported include climate change, changing consumer behaviour and preferences, new food sources and production systems, technological advances, microbiome, circular economy, food fraud, among others.
2022
The fourth World Food Safety Day (WFSD) will be celebrated on 7 June 2022 to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agricultural production, market access, tourism and sustainable development.  This publication is a guide for all those who want to get involved.        
2022
An expert meeting of the FAO/WHO Joint Expert Meeting on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA) considered the global evidence on the burden of illness, prevalence and concentration of selected microbial hazards with respect to various spices and dried aromatic herbs, and interventions aimed at controlling them in these commodities. The experts developed the approach to rank the health risks related to the commodity-pathogen combinations, and assessed the performance of the existing Codex sampling plan for Salmonella against several contamination scenarios.
2022
Bactericides, fungicides, and other pesticides play an important role in the management of plant diseases. However, their use can result in residues on plants and in the environment, with potentially detrimental consequences. The use of streptomycin, oxytetracycline, copper-based products, and some fungicides is correlated with increased resistance among plant pathogens to these agents. Likewise, the recent rise in the incidence of environmental triazole fungicide-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus, the cause of aspergillosis in humans, has caused concern, particularly in Europe. Through horizontal gene transfer, genes can be exchanged among a variety of bacteria in the plant production environment, including phytopathogens, soil bacteria, and zoonotic bacteria that are occasionally present in that environment and in the food chain. Through mechanisms of horizontal gene...
2022
Food security means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life. Food safety is interlinked with and essential to achieving food security. In times of food insecurity, humanitarian relief in the form of food aid is often distributed by specialized organizations, such as the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). Under conditions of food assistance there are food safety considerations that must be taken in account so as to carefully evaluate the impact on food availability while minimizing the risk of exposure to foodborne contaminants among the receiving population, who may already be vulnerable to malnutrition. This case...
2022