Food safety

Food Safety News No 15


Dinner

Food Safety News
No 15 - 31 May 2005

Issued by the Food Safety Department
World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/foodsafety
foodsafety@who.int


IN THIS ISSUE:

  • WHO World Health Assembly (WHA) 2005: Resolution on Infant and Young Child Nutrition
  • WHO World Health Assembly (WHA) 2005: International Health Regulations (IHR)
  • International meeting of Consumer NGOs, Geneva, 8-10 June 2005
  • Total Diet Studies: A Recipe for Safer Food

WHO World Health Assembly (WHA) 2005: Resolution on Infant and Young Child Nutrition

The WHA adopted this resolution on May 25th, urging Member States to ensure that caregivers of infants are informed about the risks associated with the potential contamination of powdered infant formula with the pathogen Enterobacter sakazakii and the need to prepare, use and store powdered infant formula appropriately. E. sakazakii has been the cause of severe disease as well as death in infants. This issue has been the subject of a recent information note from INFOSAN http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/No_01_Esakazakii_Jan05_en.pdf. The resolution also urges Members States to ensure that this information, where applicable, is conveyed through an explicit warning on packaging.

The resolution further urges Member States to ensure that nutrition and health claims are not permitted on breast-milk substitutes except where specifically provided for in national legislation. The resolution also requests the Codex Alimentarius Commission to complete urgently its on-going work on addressing the risk of microbiological contamination of powdered infant formula. The text of the resolution is available at: http://www.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA58/WHA58_32-en.pdf
Contact: Jørgen Schlundt (Tel: +41 22 791 3445 – E-mail: schlundtj@who.int)

WHO World Health Assembly (WHA) 2005: International Health Regulations (IHR)

The WHA adopted the revised IHR underscoring the continued importance of the IHR as the key global instrument for protection against the international spread of disease. The new set of IHR will manage public health emergencies of international concern and will act to “prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease." The regulations are intended to ensure the maximum protection of people against the international spread of diseases, while minimizing interference with world travel and trade. The new rules will govern a broader range of public health emergencies of international concern, including foodborne diseases and food contamination events. Public Health emergencies of international concern are extraordinary events which are determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response.

INFOSAN Emergency, the emergency component of INFOSAN (the International Food Safety Authorities Network) will be linked up to the implementation of the new IHR. The texts of the resolution adopted at WHA and the new IHR are available at: http://www.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA58/WHA58_3-en.pdf
Contact: Jørgen Schlundt (Tel: +41 22 791 3445 – E-mail: schlundtj@who.int)

International meeting of Consumer NGOs, Geneva, 8-10 June 2005

The Safe Food International Conference, Crafting a Public Health Agenda for Modern Food Safety Systems, will take place in Geneva, Switzerland (8–10 June 2005) at WHO Headquarters. The first formal discussion among consumer organizations/public health non-governmental organizations about strengthening national food safety programmes is organized in collaboration with WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The conference will share concerns about food safety and develop consensus guidelines for monitoring and improving national food safety programmes that will enable consumer and public health NGOs from rich, poor and emerging economies to evaluate and advocate strengthened national food safety programmes; to recommend a comprehensive, cohesive, and standardized course of action that addresses the threat to human health posed by deliberate and unintentional forms of food contamination. More information is available at http://www.safefoodinternational.org/conference2005.html
Contact: Hae Jung Yoon (Tel: +41 22 791 1434 – E-mail: yoonh@who.int)

Total Diet Studies: A Recipe for Safer Food

Total diet studies (TDS) are the primary sources of information on the levels of various chemical contaminants and nutrients in the diet. They can provide general assurance that the food supply is safe from certain chemical hazards and to develop priorities for possible risk management intervention. In addition, TDS results can be an indicator of environmental contamination by chemicals. TDS can also be used to assess the effectiveness of measures to reduce exposure of the population to chemical hazards. In order to promote awareness of risk managers of the benefits of TDS, WHO has prepared a new brochure entitled "Total Diet Studies: A Recipe for Safer Food" which is available at http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/chem/recipe/en/index.html. Copies can also be obtained by contacting foodsafety@who.int

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