UAE seeks to achieve the highest food safety standards: Al Zeyoudi

ABU DHABI, Food safety and enhanced food systems are a key pillar in the UAE’s food diversification and security strategies, said Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, while inaugurating, Monday, the Second Global Meeting of the FAO/WHO International Food Safety Authorities Network, INFOSAN.

At the inauguration ceremony, Dr. Al Zeyoudi said, ”We constantly strive to achieve the highest food safety standards, to ensure the community’s ability to access safe and nutritious foods at all times. To that end, we have taken a host of measures, including enhancing legislative and institutional frameworks, facilitating mechanisms for food safety control and relevant data sharing, and raising public awareness.”

He added: “The UAE is keen to have a positive and influential impact on the international community by supporting and actively participating in regional and international initiatives that target improving food safety level and boosting the quality of life for communities around the world.”

Organised by Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, ADAFSA, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the meeting aims at strengthening cooperation between food safety authorities to reduce risks of foodborne diseases.

The meeting brings together 230 experts and officials from 135 countries, 35 representatives of WHO, FAO and the World Bank, and representatives of local food safety authorities. It aims at forming a regional committee for food safety for the GCC and Arab countries, fostering coordination and exchanging of information during global food safety emergencies, and improving the current structure of INFOSAN and identifying strengths and areas of improvement.

During the four-day meeting, 28 speakers will address several important topics in eight regional meetings and a main international meeting. They will highlight mechanisms for handling food frauds, regulating and tracing back products from online trade, use of whole genome and next generation sequencing data in outbreak investigation, modern risk assessment and risk management, prevention and management of antimicrobial resistance, and others.

INFOSAN is a global network comprising entities responsible for food safety. It is managed jointly by FAO and WHO with the secretariat in WHO. INFOSAN assists Member States in ensuring rapid sharing of information during food safety emergencies. In addition, it enhances cooperation between countries and networks, and builds their capacities in managing food safety emergencies.

Furthermore, INFOSAN tracks several sources of information to investigate food safety incidents, in addition to assessing and verifying these incidents in cooperation with Member States, to facilitate collecting and sharing of information for addressing these incidents. In cooperation with emergency response teams of FAO and WHO, the network also disseminates food-related alerts and provides on-demand technical assistance to handle food safety emergencies.

Source: Emirates News Agency