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WHO Opens Public Comment Period on Draft Food Safety Strategy

The World Health Organization's strategy is aimed at achieving safe and healthy food so that countries are capable of protecting their populations' health by applying food safety best practices.

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GENEVA — The World Health Organization (WHO) last week opened its draft food safety strategy for public comment.
 

The proposed WHO Global Strategy for Food Safety 2022-2030: Towards stronger food safety systems and global cooperation is aimed at achieving "safe and healthy food for all so that all countries are capable of promoting, supporting and protecting their population’s health by applying food safety best practice to reduce the burden of foodborne diseases," WHO said. "WHO remains committed — more than ever — to providing continued guidance and support to member states to prioritize, plan, implement, monitor and regularly evaluate actions to continuously strengthen food safety systems and promote global cooperation."

The WHO had input from a Technical Advisory Group made up of member states and subject matter experts to outline the following strategic priorities.

  • Strengthening national food controls
  • Identifying and responding to food safety challenges resulting from global changes and transformations in food systems
  • Increasing the use of food chain information, scientific evidence and risk assessment in making risk-management decisions
  • Strengthening stakeholder engagement and risk communication and
  • Promoting food safety as an essential component in domestic and international food trade

"Safe food is a primary determinant of human health," the WHO said in the document's introduction. "It is a basic human right to have access to safe and healthy food. In seeking to guarantee this right, governments must ensure that available food meets safety standards. This task is not easy as the world is now more interconnected, and food systems are changing faster than ever. Foods are produced, managed, delivered and even consumed in ways that could not have been anticipated two decades ago. These factors call for a fresh global approach to improve food safety that aims to strengthen national food safety systems while improving international and national collaboration."

The comment period closes June 18, 2021.