Land & Water

Technical workshop on whole genome sequencing (WGS) application in water and foodborne disease

From 29/01/2024 To 30/01/2024
Location: Lima, Peru

From 29 to 30 January 2024, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will host a technical workshop on whole genome sequencing (WGS) application in water and foodborne disease outbreaks in Lima, Peru. The meeting is being organized jointly with the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).

Global knowledge of pre-harvest factors in food safety with the water quality issue is currently drawing an attention as it is still largely limited. As global water scarcity may result in pushing towards the use of poor-quality water sources, better understanding of the connections between water quality and food safety is needed to improve global health and sustainable agricultural and environmental outcomes.

In the context of the global project “Water quality, irrigation and on-farm controls for achieving global food safety and nutritional security” implemented by FAO, institutional capacity development is ongoing in multiple countries, particularly on the use of evidence-based technologies such as WGS techniques to increase the awareness and technical capacity in identifying and analyzing waterborne pathogens and other possible hazards that can impact food safety.

In Peru, it is important to raise the awareness on how WGS is useful for food safety management in prevention of water- and foodborne outbreaks. In the workshop, a series of presentations will be provided to highlight the benefits and the potential drawbacks of WGS and discussions will focus on summarizing the state of current implementation of the technology at the global level, and options for implementing WGS for food safety in Peru within the context of One Health.

The workshop is a closed meeting with invited government officials, public health professionals, researchers and stakeholders involved at the intersection of food safety and water- and foodborne disease surveillance and response. A number of experts from Peru is expected to attend and there will be some participants from other countries in the Latin American region to identify synergies and possible collaborative actions. The report of the meeting will be issued in the later date to widely disseminate the contents and discussions of the meeting.