Food safety

Food Safety News No 33


Fish
WHO/F. Fontannaz

Food Safety News
No 33 - 20 July 2009

Issued by the Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses
World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/foodsafety
foodsafety@who.int




IN THIS ISSUE:

  • The WHO Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses
  • Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN) - building on the success of WHO Global Salm-Surv
  • JECFA 71 (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives), 16-24 June 2009, Geneva
  • FERG (Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group)
  • New publications available on the web

The WHO Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses

The Health Security and Environment (HSE) Cluster was established to work towards a world safer from serious threats to global health security, such as infectious disease outbreaks, including pandemic influenza; unsafe food, water and air; polio; and health risks created or made worse by a changing environment. The Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses (FOS) is part of the HSE Cluster. Its mission is to lower the burden of disease from food and animals, focusing on industrialized and traditional production systems, and integrating prevention from farm to table. This work includes the provision of scientific advice, efficient standard setting, and clear communication in support of foodborne and zoonotic disease prevention and international efforts to food-related outbreak detection and response. The name was changed (previously Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases) to better reflect our strategic directions on managing zoonotic disease risks at the human-animal interface. This will not, however, detract from our continued disease estimation and prevention focus.
Contact: Jørgen Schlundt (Tel: + 41 22 791 3445 – E-mail: schlundtj@who.int)

Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN) - building on the success of WHO Global Salm-Surv

Though originally focusing on Salmonella diagnostics and epidemiology, WHO Global Salm-Surv (WHO GSS) has evolved during the past 9 years into a platform for capacity building that accommodates a variety of foodborne and other enteric pathogens and diseases of importance in the various regions. In order to reflect this broader scope and application, WHO GSS will continue to grow and build capacity globally under a new name: Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN) - "A WHO network building capacity to detect, control and prevent foodborne and other enteric infections from farm to table".
More information at: www.who.int/salmsurv/en
Contact: Danilo Lo Fo Wong (Tel: +41 22 791 3882 – E-mail: lofowongd@who.int)

JECFA 71 (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives), 16-24 June 2009, Geneva

A meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) was held at WHO Headquarters, Geneva, from 16 to 24 June 2009. The meeting evaluated 22 food additives, of which 9 were new compounds, and 13 were re-evaluated.
The summary report is available at: www.who.int/ipcs/food/jecfa/summaries/en
Contact: Angelika Tritscher (Tel: +41 22 791 3569 – E-mail: tritschera@who.int)

FERG (Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group)

Progress in the area of enteric and parasitic diseases

The FERG Enteric and Parasitic Diseases Task Forces held a joint meeting in Rome (hosted by FAO) from 7-9 June 2009 to review progress with burden work on pathogen-specific diarrhoeal diseases morbidity and mortality, as well as the burden estimation of four parasitic diseases. Draft estimates were presented and reviewed, and final estimates are scheduled to be published during the FERG 3 and Stakeholder meeting in October 2009.

New Country Studies Task Force launched

A new multi-disciplinary FERG Country Studies Task Force (TF) comprising epidemiologists, policy makers and food safety experts was launched and met for the first time in Rome (hosted by FAO) from 10-12 June 2009. The TF – which is charged with developing tools and protocols for burden of foodborne disease studies and policy situation analyses at country level - agreed on its terms of reference and elected Professor Niko Speybroeck (Belgium) as Chair of the TF. Participants discussed and affirmed the need for a multisectoral approach and proposed selection criteria for the choice of countries to perform the studies; the WHO Secretariat is now receiving proposals for nominations of countries. The group developed a work plan for the coming months and recommended the commissioning of a series of systematic reviews for the development of country studies protocols and tools.
More information at: www.who.int/foodsafety/foodborne_disease/ferg2/en
Contacts for FERG: Claudia Stein (Tel: +41 22 791 3234 – E-mail: steinc@who.int) and Tanja Kuchenmüller (Tel: +41 22 791 5095 – E-mail: kuchenmullert@who.int)

New publications available on the web

Executive summary and Report of the Expert meeting to review toxicological aspects of melamine and cyanuric acid, 1-4 December 2008 available at: www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/infosan_events/en

INFOSAN Information Note No. 2 – 30 Apr, Human-animal interface aspects of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian at: www.who.int/foodsafety/fs_management/infosan_archives/en

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