Food safety

Food Safety News No 23


Food Safety News
No 23 - 20 Feb 2007

Issued by the Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases
World Health Organization


  • FAO and WHO initiate new work on viruses in foods
  • INFOSAN note on Escherichia Coli O157:H7 in spinach
  • Codex Training course for Codex Trust Fund beneficiaries countries
  • Standards Development and Trade Facility (STDF)
  • New publications available on the web

FAO and WHO initiate new work on viruses in foods

FAO and WHO are organizing an expert Meeting in May 2007 to review the current state of knowledge on viruses in food and their public health and trade impact with the objective of providing advice and guidance on the virus: commodity combinations of particular concern, the issues that need to be addressed by risk managers and the options available to them. FAO and WHO are seeking experts working in the area of viral food safety but those working on other aspects of virology are also invited to apply. Information regarding the call for experts is available at:
Contact: Peter Karim Ben Embarek (Tel: +41 22 791 4204 – E-mail:

INFOSAN note on Escherichia Coli O157:H7 in spinach

This note, developed in collaboration with the Government of the United States of America, outlines the series of events related to the September 2006 Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak in spinach, as well as general information on Escherichia coli. The importance of close collaboration between national agencies responsible for disease surveillance and food safety is highlighted by this outbreak. Without this close collaboration, foodborne disease outbreaks may not be identified or managed effectively. This note also discusses the role INFOSAN in food safety events, which is to ensure rapid information sharing occurs internationally to help prevent cases of foodborne disease. This note is available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese at:
Contact: Jenny Bishop (Tel: +41 22 791 1134 - E-mail:

Codex Training course for Codex Trust Fund beneficiaries countries

A Codex training course for the African region was organized by the FAO/WHO Codex Trust Fund in Rabat, Morocco from 20 to 22 January 2007. The training course, attended by 50 participants from 36 countries, was organized immediately preceding the Coordinating Committee for Africa (CCAFRICA) so that participants were able to put their new knowledge to practice immediately in a Codex meeting. Participants will now sensitize and train other stakeholders in their countries on Codex. The report of the training course will be available soon on the Codex Trust Fund website at:
Contact: Catherine Mulholland (Tel: +41 22 791 3080 - E-mail:

Standards Development and Trade Facility (STDF)

The Standards Development and Trade Facility (STDF) is a partnership of WHO, FAO, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO) designed to enhance the capacity of developing countries to implement Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) standards. In December 2006, the STDF Policy Committee adopted a new a Medium Term Strategy that will expand the coordination role of the Facility, encourage closer participation of donors while continuing to fully fund a limited number of demonstration projects. More information is available at:
Contact: Margaret Miller (Tel: +41 22 791 1979 - E-mail:

New publications available on the web

Risk assessment of choleragenic Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139 in warm-water shrimp in international trade, MRA Series 9:

Enterobacter sakazakii and Salmonella in powdered infant formula: Meeting report, MRA Series 10:

Antimicrobial Use in Aquaculture and Antimicrobial Resistance:

Benefits and potential risks of the lactoperoxidase system of raw milk preservation:

A guide to Healthy Food Markets and promotional brochure available now in French at:

FAO/WHO Guidance to Governments on the Application of HACCP in Small and/or Less-Developed Food Businesses: