Food safety

Food Safety News No 22


Market place, New Delhi

Food Safety News
No 22 - 11 Dec 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:

  • FAO/WHO Expert meeting on Enterobacter sakazakii and Salmonella in powdered infant formula
  • WHO Global initiative to estimate the burden of foodborne diseases
  • Total Diet Studies
  • INFOSAN User Guide and update on INFOSAN EMERGENCY activities
  • New publications available on the web

FAO/WHO Expert meeting on Enterobacter sakazakii and Salmonella in powdered infant formula

In response to the request of the Codex committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) for additional scientific advice on issues related to Enterobacter sakazakii and Salmonella in powdered infant formula (PIF) and the request of the 58th Session of the World Health Assembly, the governing body of WHO (resolution WHA58.32), FAO and WHO commissioned the further development of a probabilistic risk assessment on E. sakazakii in PIF.

FAO and WHO then implemented an expert meeting 16–20 January 2006 to review the risk assessment model and to address the questions raised by the last session of the CCFH. The report of the meeting and an overview of the risk assessment model are available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/micro/jemra/meetings/jan2006/en
Contact: Peter Karim Ben Embarek (Tel: +41 22 791 4204 – E-mail: benembarekp@who.int)

WHO Global initiative to estimate the burden of foodborne diseases

The Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases (FOS) launched a global initiative to estimate the burden of foodborne diseases from all major causes, including chemicals and zoonoses, during an international consultation held from 25-27 September 2006 in Geneva and attended by over 50 experts from around the world.

The outcomes included a draft strategy for the assessment of burden of foodborne diseases, a draft chart of diseases and syndromes to be considered in the estimation, a proposal for Foodborne Disease Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG), standard protocols for country burden of foodborne disease studies and a joint statement of support for the initiative from the floor. FOS is now working on the implementation of the strategy and recommendations.

More information is available at: http://www.who.int/foodborne_disease/burden/en/
Contact: Claudia Stein (Tel: +41 22 791 3234 - E-mail: steinc@who.int)

Total Diet Studies

INFOSAN has just published an INFOSAN note of Total Diet Studies (available in the six WHO official languages at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/infosan_archives/en.)
Total diets studies are considered one of the most cost-effective methods for assuring the safety of the food supply from contamination by toxic chemicals.

In this regard, WHO has encouraged developing countries to undertake total diet studies to identify priorities for subsequent intervention and monitoring. Periodic training courses and workshops have been convened by WHO in cooperation with FAO, the most recent in Beijing in October 2006.

More information is available is available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/chem/meetings/en
Contact: Gerald G. Moy (Tel: +41 22 791 3698 - E-mail: moyg@who.int)

INFOSAN User Guide and update on INFOSAN EMERGENCY activities

An INFOSAN users guide for Focal Points and Emergency Contact Points was developed and sent to INFOSAN members: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/infosan/en.
Between 1 August and 30 November 2006, INFOSAN Emergency identified 42 food safety related events from its surveillance systems which may have had international implications.

The events were followed up with the INFOSAN Emergency contact points in the countries of concern. These investigations determined that four events required INFOSAN Emergency Alerts to be sent to countries which received or may have received the contaminated products. The alerts issued were in relation to events associated with Escherichia coli in spinach, metal fragments in dried fruits, glass contamination in oatcakes and Salmonella in chocolate.

More information on INFOSAN is available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/infosan/en
Contact: Jenny Bishop (Tel: +41 22 791 1134 - E-mail: bishopj@who.int)

New publications available on the web

The Five keys to safer food manual: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/consumer/5keysmanual/en, available in English (translation into all WHO languages is in process).

An INFOSAN Information note on the prevention of foodborne disease: The Five keys to safer Ffood to present the Five keys project to national food safety authorities: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/consumer/5keys/en

Summary Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), Rome, 3-12 October 2006: http://www.who.int/ipcs/food/jmpr/summaries/summary_2006.pdf

The control of neglected zoonotic diseases - A route to poverty alleviation. Report of a Joint WHO/DFID-AHP meeting, Geneva, 20-21 September 2005: http://www.who.int/zoonoses/Report_Sept06.pdf

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