The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) links together national authorities in Member States responsible for managing food safety emergencies. INFOSAN is a joint programme of FAO and WHO, with the Secretariat in WHO.
Recently, it was reported through INFOSAN that several batches of milk whey protein concentrate (WPC) (an ingredient used in the manufacture of food products such as powdered infant formula, juice, dairy beverages, yoghurt and sports beverages), were suspected to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria. The affected batches were distributed to many countries worldwide.
WHO and FAO have been working jointly since 1963 through the Codex Alimentarius Commission to protect consumer health and ensure fair practices in food trade. Codex establishes international food safety standards, guidelines and best practices. 185 Member States participate in the Codex process. In order to ensure that Codex standards are truly global, the Codex Trust Fund was established in 2003 to support the effective participation of developing and transition-economy countries.
More than half of the world's population lives in urban areas. Food markets are the main source of affordable food including fresh produces for many people and have an important economic and social role.
Avian influenza viruses are not transmissible through well prepared and well cooked foods but it can be transmitted from infected animals to humans during handling and slaughtering in wet markets. It is therefore important to limit, as much as possible, close contacts between animals and humans in wet markets.
Unsafe food causes many acute and life-long diseases, ranging from diarrhoeal diseases to various forms of cancer. WHO estimates that foodborne and waterborne diarrhoeal diseases taken together kill about 2.2 million people annually, 1.9 million of them children.
Foodborne diseases and threats to food safety constitute a growing public health problem and WHO's mission is to assist Member States to strengthen their programmes for improving the safety of food all the way from production to final consumption.
In order to achieve this goal WHO has developed a global strategic plan for 2013-2022 according to its mandate and following the World Health Assembly resolution from 2010 (WHA63.3).
Advancing food safety initiatives: strategic plan for food safety including foodborne zoonoses 2013-2022
FAO/WHO Public Health Risks of Histamine and other Biogenic Amines from Fish and Fishery Products
Integrated surveillance of antimicrobial resistance: guidance from a WHO advisory group
FAO/WHO State of the art on the initiatives and activities relevant to risk assessment and risk management of nanotechnologies in the food and agriculture sectors
Enhancing INFOSAN in Asia and implementation of regional food safety strategies: meeting report
Call for Data and Experts
Japan nuclear event
Health risk assessment from the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, based on a preliminary dose estimation
Preliminary Dose Estimation from the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
FAQs: Japan nuclear concerns
Impact on seafood safety
Radionuclides and food