Food safety

Food Safety News No 32


Fruit

Food Safety News
No 32 - 19 December 2008

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:

  • Outcome of the joint FAO/WHO Expert meeting to review toxicological aspects of melamine and cyanuric acid
  • Outcome of the INFOSAN Advisory Group meeting
  • Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on the application of Nanotechnologies in the Food and Agriculture sectors: Potential Food Safety Implications (to be held in Rome, Italy, 1-5 June 2009
  • Codex Trust Fund - 2009 support levels for eligible countries
  • Food allergies: Why do food manufacturers and food control authorities need to bother?
  • New publications available on the web

Outcome of the joint FAO/WHO Expert meeting to review toxicological aspects of melamine and cyanuric acid

An increased incidence of kidney 'stones' and renal failure in infants has been reported in September in China, believed to be associated with the ingestion of infant formula contaminated with melamine. Subsequently melamine has been detected in a variety of milk and milk products that have also been exported to many countries. In order to refine preliminary assessments and identify knowledge gap, an independent international scientific expert meeting has been held as part of WHO's emergency measures in this area, in collaboration with FAO and supported by Health Canada. The meeting was held 1-4 December 2008 in Ottawa, Canada, and executive summary, as well as conclusions and recommendations have been published on our website: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/infosan_events/en
Contact: Angelika Tritscher (Tel: +41 22 791 3569 - E-mail: tritschera@who.int)

Outcome of the INFOSAN Advisory Group meeting

The INFOSAN Advisory group held its annual face-to-face meeting 10-12 December 2008 in Ottawa, Canada. The Group finalized a suggested Strategic Plan for the consideration of WHO and FAO, as well as a draft prioritized work plan for 2009-2010. In addition, the Group revised a draft Terms of Reference for the Advisory Group, and discussed a potential draft World Health Assembly Resolution presented for discussion by Malaysia. A short summary report of the meeting is available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/infosan/en
Contact: Jørgen Schlundt (Tel: + 41 22 791 3445 - E-mail: schlundtj@who.int)

Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on the application of Nanotechnologies in the Food and Agriculture sectors: Potential Food Safety Implications (to be held in Rome, Italy, 1-5 June 2009)

Given the increased global interest in the use of nanotechnology and concerns on the potential food safety implications, FAO and WHO have recognized a need for scientific advice on any food safety implications that may arise from the use of nanotechnologies in the food and agriculture sectors. Therefore a joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on the Application of Nanotechnologies in the Food and Agriculture Sectors: Potential Food Safety Implications will be held from 1 to 5 June 2009 at FAO/HQ in Rome, Italy. The scope and objectives, together with call for experts and information are available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/meetings/nano_june09/en
Deadline for submission of application and relevant information is 16 January 2009
Contact: Noriko Iseki (Fax: +41 22 791 4807 - E-mail: isekin@who.int)

Codex Trust Fund - 2009 support levels for eligible countries

The Codex Trust Fund received applications from 94 countries for support in 2009. After being supported by the Codex Trust Fund either fully or partially for the past 5 years, 9 of these countries will be "graduating" from the Codex Trust Fund at the end of 2008 and are expected to continue to participate in the Codex Alimentarius system using national resources. Eighty-five countries are therefore eligible for support in 2009. Thanks to increased donor funding, the Codex Trust Fund is again increasing support levels in 2009 and it is expected that over 350 participants will be supported to attend Codex meetings, task forces, working groups, Codex trainings and workshops in 2009. Information is available at: http://www.who.int/foodsafety/codex/trustfund/en
Contact: Catherine Mulholland (Tel: +41 22 791 3080 - E-mail: codextrustfund@who.int).

Food allergies: Why do food manufacturers and food control authorities need to bother?

FOS has previously worked with colleagues in the National Food Institute of Denmark resulting in an INFOSAN Information Note and follow-up work on food allergies in 2007. Further work is now focusing on the need for food manufacturers to communicate the ingredients and possible cross-contaminants in their food(s) to allergic people. This enables the provision of safer food for this vulnerable group. To be able to control food manufacturers, food control authorities need to have similar knowledge. For information, one new information resource, including potential guidance for the food industry is available on a new web site: http://www.foodallergens.info/

New publications available on the web

WHO Global Salm-Surv Newsletter No. 2/2008. Updates on the WHO Capacity-building programme for foodborne and other infectious enteric diseases. Available in English, French and Chinese at: http://www.who.int/salmsurv/links/newsletters/en

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