FAO Strives For Better Food Safety Management Practices

A regional unit of the Food and Agriculture Organization and a university in Finland are searching for good practices to improve food safety management Similar to HACCP.

What does HACCP stand for? Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points is an internationally accepted method for identifying and managing food safety-related risks. It can be used to provide assurance to your customers, regulator agencies, and the public that an active food safety program is in place.

FAO stated that “Measuring the effectiveness of the official food control system in operation is an important step towards continuous development and preparedness for evolving challenges on food safety using the best management practices.”

The call was issued by the FAO Regional Office for Europe & Central Asia and the University of Helsinki. It covers three topics.

These include: measuring the effectiveness of food control, solutions to help small-scale producers comply with food safety regulations and digital use to improve food safety management.

The questionnaires can be completed by anyone in Europe or Central Asia until June 17th.

FAO states that food safety risk management is a key component of official food control.

It can also be used to assess the progress of national systems in achieving their national goals. It is important to establish measurable parameters that apply to national contexts in order for the effectiveness of food control officials to be assessed.

Digital focus and small scales

FAO stated that small-scale producers face more difficulties in implementing food safety regulations due to factors such as lack of technical and financial capabilities.

These challenges could lead to increased food safety risks and non-compliance. In the region, small-scale producers are of paramount importance, especially in local and domestic markets.

It is vital to support small-scale producers in complying with food safety regulations. This can help increase food safety, business and income growth, as well as short value chains that allow for easier access to domestic and international markets.

Authorities, food associations, academia and NGOs can provide good practices. These could include videos, written guidance documents, interactive teaching tools, and on-site support.

FAO stated that while certain digital tools may require significant investment, there are many innovative solutions that can be found that work with minimal expenditure.

This is the first phase in collecting good food safety management practices with a focus on the three topics. It aims to identify successful programs and initiatives, as well as proven solutions and initiatives across the region.

Submissions should include data-driven continuous development of food control and methods to measure effectiveness.

Small-scale producers are supported in complying with food safety regulations. This includes improving the tools and options available to them by food control authorities.

Digital solutions improve food safety data analysis, use and communication; increase consumer awareness and trust, and encourage compliance by businesses with food safety regulations.

It is worth noting that certain industries that are often thought to fall under the same food safety regulations as the rest often have completely different rules. Both the cannabis and supplement industries have very specific regulations that must be followed.

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