Food safety

Food Safety News No 20


Street vended food

Food Safety News
No 20 - 23 June 2006

Issued by the Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases
World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/foodsafety
foodsafety@who.int




IN THIS ISSUE:

  • Codex related outcome of the 59th session of the World Health Assembly
  • Guidelines on powdered infant formula
  • Estimation of the global burden of foodborne disease: call for collaboration
  • Avian Influenza: A selection of frequently asked questions on animals, food and water
  • Avian Influenza: Protecting Human Health from Farm to Fork
  • Food Allergy
  • Strengthening Compliance with Food and Environmental Safety Standards
  • New publications available on the web

Codex related outcome of the 59th session of the World Health Assembly

Under agenda item 15.3 of the World Health Assembly (22-27 May 2006) several countries expressed concern about the budgetary support for Codex-related activities from WHO. In response the WHO Secretariat explained that it is actively seeking additional funds to the Food Safety Area of Work, under which the Codex resides. The Secretariat expressed commitment to seek additional ways to strengthen the health input in the development of Codex food standards. Support for the provision of scientific advice, which is a prerequisite for Codex work is sought from various donors through the WHO Global Initiative for Food Scientific Advice (GIFSSA): http://www.who.int/foodsafety/codex/gifssa/en
Contact: Jørgen Schlundt (Tel: +41 22 791 3445 - E-mail: schlundtj@who.int)

Guidelines on powdered infant formula

The Codex Working Group Meeting on Infant Formulae, Ottawa, Canada, 15-17 May, 2006, considered again the draft Code of Hygienic Practice. A chapter “Control measures for safe preparation of formula” was added. A text was agreed: “Powdered infant formula is not a sterile product and may be contaminated with pathogens that can cause serious illness. Correct preparation and handling reduces the risk of illness” and also criteria for Enterobacter sakazakii and Salmonella, based on a new model to calculate the level of risk reduction. The FAO/WHO Draft Guidelines for Safe Preparation, Storage and Handling of Powdered Infant Formula was appreciated and supported by the group.
Contact: Jaap Jansen (Tel: +41 22 791 3568 - E-mail: jansenj@who.int)

Estimation of the global burden of foodborne disease: call for collaboration

With a recent strengthening in the area of epidemiology FOS will initiate work to better estimate the global burden of foodborne diseases in the broadest sense and from multiple causes. This will involve an alliance of multiple national and international partners. More information on this exercise is available at: http://www.who.int/foodborne_disease/burden/en/. If you have relevant input or would like to partner with us in this exercise please contact Claudia Stein (Tel: +41 22 791 3234 - steinc@who.int)

Avian Influenza: A selection of frequently asked questions on animals, food and water

The questions and answers are available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/micro/avian/en/index1.html
Contact: François-Xavier Meslin (Tel: +41 22 791 2575 - E-mail: meslinf@who.int)

Avian Influenza: Protecting Human Health from Farm to Fork

An educational video on the prevention aspects of avian influenza in humans through sensible precautions that decrease the spread of the disease in animals, and from animals to humans, has been produced and is available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/micro/ai_farmtofork/en
Contact: Jørgen Schlundt (Tel: +41 22 791 3445 - E-mail: schlundtj@who.int)

Food Allergy

On 6 June, INFOSAN published an INFOSAN Information Note on Food Allergy. The note provides national food and health authorities with information designed to improve the quality of life for food allergic people. The note is available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/infosan_archives/en
Contact: Margaret Miller (Tel: +41 22 791 1979 - E-mail: millerma@who.int)

Strengthening Compliance with Food and Environmental Safety Standards

The Food and Environmental Protection Subprogramme of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, which includes the Agrochemicals Unit of the IAEA Laboratories, has extensive activities related to strengthening compliance with food and environmental safety standards through good agricultural practices. These activities include the application of nuclear and related technologies to control foodborne pathogens and insect pests as well as laboratory training programmes on the use of analytical methodologies to monitor agro-chemical residues in food and ensure that pesticides and veterinary drugs comply with standards, specifications and codes of conduct related to agricultural and processing practices.
Further information is available at: (http://www-naweb.iaea.org/nafa/fep/public/fep-nl-9-1.pdf)

New publications available on the web

Risk assessment of Vibrio vulnificus in raw oysters, Microbial Risk Assessment Series No. 8.
Available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/micro/mra8/en

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