Food safety

Food Safety News No 24


Fruit and vegetable market

Food Safety News
No 24 - 30 Apr 2007

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 Guidelines on Powdered Infant Formula (PIF)
  • Call for expert to serve on the WHO Foodborne Disease Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG)
  • Welcome to EQAS 2007
  • Call for experts and information - joint FAO/WHO expert meeting on the benefits and risks of the use of "active chlorine" in food production and food processing
  • New publications available on the web

FAO/WHO Guidelines on Powdered Infant Formula (PIF)

The Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases (FOS), in collaboration with FAO, has developed new Guidelines for the safe preparation, storage and use of powdered infant formula (PIF). These risk-based guidelines have been developed on the basis of the outcome of the FAO/WHO risk assessment of Enterobacter sakazakii in PIF and in response to a request from the World Health Assembly (WHA resolution WHA/58.32). PIF is not a sterile product and can contain harmful bacteria such as E. sakazakii. These guidelines provide advice on the safe preparation of PIF in different environments in health care and home settings.
The Guidelines will be available in 6 languages at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/micro/pif2007/en
Contact: Peter Karim Ben Embarek (Tel: +41 22 791 4204 – E-mail: benembarekp@who.int)

Call for expert to serve on the WHO Foodborne Disease Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG)

Although burden of foodborne disease estimates have recently been established in several countries, global estimates and additional national estimates are needed to inform public health policy-makers. In collaboration with multiple international partners FOS therefore launched a global initiative to take stock of currently available evidence and provide a strategic framework for the assessment of foodborne disease burden.
The report is available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/foodborne_disease/burden_sept06/en.
The consultation issued clear strategic guidance to WHO and suggested the establishment of a Foodborne Disease Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG) to execute the recommendations. FOS is now calling for Advisers to serve on FERG by applying to the following web-link: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/foodborne_disease/ferg_advisers/en.
Contact: Claudia Stein (Tel: +41 22 791 3234 - E-mail: steinc@who.int) or Tanja Kuchenmüller (Tel: + 41 22 791 50 95 - E-mail: kuchenmullert@who.int)

Welcome to EQAS 2007

WHO Global Salm-Surv (WHO-GSS) has launched the seventh trial of its External Quality Assurance System (EQAS). EQAS is a WHO GSS proficiency testing coordinated by the National Food Institute in Denmark where more than 180 laboratories have already signed up. EQAS 2007 offers serotyping and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of eight Salmonella strains, antimicrobial susceptibility testing of one E. coli strain for quality control (E. coli ATCC 25922), species identification of two Campylobacter isolates and species identification/typing of one unknown pathogen. More information on how to participate in EQAS is available at: http://www.who.int/salmsurv/activities/GSS_EQAS/en
Contact: Awa Aidara-Kane (Tel: +41 22 791 2403 - E-mail: aidarakanea@who.int)

Call for experts and information - joint FAO/WHO expert meeting on the benefits and risks of the use of "active chlorine" in food production and food processing

FAO and WHO have issued a call for experts and a call for information to facilitate new work on the assessment of benefits and risks of the use of "active chlorine" in food production and processing, as requested by the 29th session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. An expert meeting will be convened during 2007 to consider this advice. The main goals are to consider the risk of disinfection by-products (excluding environmental impacts) versus the benefit of lowering the risk of microbial hazards following the use of active chlorine for disinfection purposes in food production and processing.
More information is available at: http://www.who.int/ipcs/food/active_chlorine/en
Contact: Angelika Tritscher (Tel: +41 22 791 3569 - E-mail: tritschera@who.int)

New publications available on the web

Five Keys to Safer Food Manual available now in English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/consumer/5keysmanual/en (Arabic in preparation)

INFOSAN Information Note on monitoring Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/infosan_archives/en

Questions and Answers on Avian influenza (Revised edition April 2007) available in English, French, Russian at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/micro/avian/en/index1.html

Food safety risk analysis - A guide for national food safety authorities available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/micro/riskanalysis06/en

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