Nations in Asia Pacific have taken part in a project to establish or improve food safety testing capabilities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), coordinated efforts with laboratories in 14 countries.

Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, and Vietnam were involved.

“We used to outsource most of our analyses to laboratories abroad. Now we have the resources to conduct them ourselves,” said Moe Thein, head of the Veterinary Assay Laboratory in Myanmar.

The lab can now

Continue Reading Efforts boost food testing ability in Asia Pacific

Most countries in the Western Pacific do not have regulations to control food safety in novel foods, according to a survey.

Many pointed to the absence of national regulatory frameworks that could be applied to alternative proteins and the need for discussions on the rules and risk assessment for novel foods. They also said inspectors need to be trained on novel technologies to produce alternative food proteins.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in the Western Pacific held a workshop as the first step toward supporting member states to regulate the production, marketing and consumption of local and imported plant-based and

Continue Reading Western Pacific nations lack novel food safety rules

A pilot project has backed up the potential to use food safety indicators to strengthen national control systems but found results are not comparable between countries.

Several countries in Asia Pacific asked the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to provide guidance on the development of food safety indicators.

The four countries that piloted development of the indicators are Bhutan, China, Cook Islands and the Philippines. They vary in their capacities and were chosen to show how such indicators are an approach that can be scalable to different realities. Findings from the project were published before a
Continue Reading FAO helps countries measure progress with food safety indicators, mitigation

Regional WHO and FAO offices in Asia, the Americas and Africa highlighted their work on safe food to mark World Food Safety Day this past week.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is helping countries in the Americas strengthen food control systems. PAHO, through actions coordinated by the Pan American Center for Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Veterinary Public Health (PANAFTOSA), is working with nations in Latin America and the Caribbean on standards and regulations, education and communication, surveillance, inspection, and laboratories.

Although the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic is not transmitted by food, the outbreak has highlighted related issues such as
Continue Reading WHO discussions of Asia Pacific, Africa and Americas show food safety roles

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has helped improve consumer health and boost the trade of food in South East Asia.

FAO ran a series of multi-year projects, funded by the government of Japan, aimed at capacity building to develop and implement international food safety standards in member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN includes Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Within the region, capacity levels vary widely and food cultures are diverse, leading to various food safety issues. Street food
Continue Reading FAO shares how it improved food safety in ASEAN

Officials have published a document highlighting ways to avoid the risks from foodborne parasites transmitted by pork, freshwater fish and crustaceans.

Foodborne parasitic diseases are often neglected in food safety control systems even though they can cause severe human health problems, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

One challenge is that affected animals might not show signs of disease, making it difficult for farmers and authorities to detect a problem. Also, if there are no production or financial losses associated with the parasite in animals, there is no incentive to control them.

Continue Reading FAO highlights ‘often neglected’ foodborne parasites

So called fake news about food safety and COVID-19 has had a negative impact on consumption patterns and created anxiety among consumers in Asia Pacific.

Ahead of World Food Safety Day on June 7, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), organized a webinar called: Food safety in the new normal.

The event dealt with the negative impact of what was described as fake news and rumors, which have particularly impacted the meat and dairy sectors due to
Continue Reading Misinformation poses ‘severe test’ in Asia Pacific

Heightened hygiene measures put in place because the coronavirus pandemic will have positive effects on longer term food safety in the Asia-Pacific region, according to experts.

The COVID-19 outbreak has increased awareness of the need for personal hygiene, such as frequent handwashing, to avoid transmitting the virus, and has reminded everyone that similar good hygiene practices are always required in the preparation and handling of food.

Sridhar Dharmapuri, FAO senior food safety and nutrition officer, said COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through food.

“However, when we reach the end of lockdowns, countries will be looking to jumpstart their economies and increase
Continue Reading COVID-19 hygiene focus could help food safety in Asia-Pacific

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has launched a contest about food safety aimed at those in the Asia Pacific region.

The FAO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific is calling for entries in a photo, poster, and video contest to illustrate ideas from young generations about food safety.

The competition is for nationals from or people currently living in a country of the Asia-Pacific region and who are 30 years old or younger. However, young people outside the region can participate through the “special contribution” slot.

Topics could include handwashing, food standards, food fraud, microbiological
Continue Reading FAO launches food safety contest to show youthful perspectives