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Case study

Food safety considerations to achieve best health outcomes under limited food availability situations. Case study

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 study lays out food safety consideration that might be helpful in situations where the impact of limited food availability is mitigated through food aid, which is meant to ensure acceptable health using two scenarios– lead in maize and fumonisins in cereal grains. Risk management and recommendations are also provided on how to address these food safety issues.