The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN)
- First Global Meeting of INFOSAN
- INFOSAN Progress Report 2004-2010
- INFOSAN Information Notes
- FAO/WHO framework for developing national food safety emergency response plans
- FAO/WHO guide for application of risk analysis principles and procedures during food safety emergencies
- FAO/WHO guide for developing and improving national food recall systems
The rapid globalization of food production and trade has increased the potential likelihood of international incidents involving contaminated food.
Food safety authorities all over the world have acknowledged that ensuring food safety must not only be tackled at the national level but also through closer linkages among food safety authorities at the international level. This is important for exchanging routine information on food safety issues, sharing experiences and expertise and to have rapid access to information in case of food safety emergencies.
The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) is is a joint initiative between WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This a global network includes of 177 member states. Each has a designated INFOSAN emergency contact point for communication between national food safety authorities and the INFOSAN secretariat regarding urgent events. Recognizing that food safety is often a shared responsibility, countries are also asked to identity focal points in other ministries or relevant agencies to receive INFOSAN communications.
The network aims to:
- Promote the rapid exchange of information during food safety related events
- Share information on important food safety related issues of global interest
- Promote partnership and collaboration between countries
- Help countries strengthen their capacity to manage food safety risks
As part of its routine activities, INFOSAN publishes Information Notes, in the six official WHO languages, to provide its members with summaries on relevant food safety issues. Guidance is being developed on a number of topics related to food safety emergency response and management.
INFOSAN also facilitates the exchange of food safety information and experience among its members. In collaboration with the WHO Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN), training is provided on the reporting of international food safety events to the global community.
INFOSAN systematically monitors for potential international food safety related events in addition to receiving information through INFOSAN emergency contact points. This monitoring is done in close collaboration with the WHO Alert and Response Operations program (provide link) as part of WHO's event detection activities. Working under the umbrella of the International Health Regulations (2005) INFOSAN Emergency facilitates the identification, assessment and management of food safety events of possible international concern. Collaborating closely with countries, alerts may be developed and disseminated to the INFOSAN emergency network. To help respond to country requests for assistance during food safety emergencies. INFOSAN Emergency partners with the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN).
INFOSAN also works with the Global Early Warning System for Major Animal Diseases, including Zoonoses (GLEWS) to promote seamless action throughout the food-chain continuum.
For further information please contact:
Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses (FOS)
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva 27
Facsimile: +41 22 791 4807