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Preventing Food Safety Emergencies: INFOSAN, FAO/WHO International Food Safety Authorities Network


Foodborne diseases are common throughout the world, placing a significant burden on public health and often disrupting trade. The rapid globalization of food production and trade, combined with the growing complexity of the food chain, means that risks posed by unsafe foods have the potential to quickly evolve from a local problem to an international incident, in a short period of time. Indeed, an increasing number of food safety events have international ramifications and cannot only be managed at the national level, but require closer linkages among food safety authorities internationally. In order to efficiently prevent and control the cross-border spread of unsafe food, it is crucial that information is shared among countries in case of food safety emergencies.

This information sheet focuses on the work that the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) – a global network jointly managed by FAO and WHO – is doing to prevent, prepare, and respond to food safety events and emergencies. INFOSAN contributes to efficient prevention and control of cross-border spread of unsafe food through information sharing among countries in case of food safety emergencies. It also fosters a global community of practice among food safety professionals.

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