In the first, one hundred and twenty food safety experts met in Düsseldorf, Germany as part of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Technical Working Groups (TWG).
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) with the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and human well-being (Rospotrebnadzor) held a workshop in St. Petersburg, in the second event.
GFSI Technical Working Group areas
GFSI Technical Working Groups was hosted by Ecolab at its Monheim, Germany headquarters.
The agenda included the Auditor Competence and Technical Equivalence TWG and four TWG were launched to tackle the following food safety issues: Global Markets Programme Primary Production, Global Markets Programme Strategy, Food service/Catering and GFSI Regional Outreach.
The next TWG will be in Berlin, Germany with the GFSI Global Food Safety Conference in March 2016.
Véronique Discours-Buhot, director, GFSI, The Consumer Goods Forum, said it believes food safety is a shared responsibility.
“With the food supply chain growing more and more complex, no one can do it alone,” she said.
“We are thrilled to bring together the entire industry spectrum - manufacturers, retailers and service providers but also international organisations, academia and government representatives – to collaborate on key food safety issues.”
Microbiological food safety workshop
The aim of the FAO, WHO and Rospotrebnadzor workshop was to strengthen countries’ national capacities for participation in Codex Alimentarius with a focus on microbiological food safety.
“Enhancing the region’s capacity for utilizing Codex standards, guidelines, recommendations and codes of practice is a top priority for the region right now,” said Anna Popova, head of Rospotrebnadzor and chief state sanitary physician of the Russian Federation.
Eleonora Dupouy, FAO food safety and consumer protection officer for Europe and Central Asia, said: “Ultimately, the aim is to ensure that consumers are protected and regional and global trading partners are knowledgeable about international requirements and prepared to apply recommended good practices.”
Hilde Kruse, programme manager for food safety with WHO’s Regional Office for Europe, said for a country to achieve food safety, many different professionals and groups need to work together.
“This workshop will facilitate that, by bringing together representatives of many sectors to share experiences and make lasting connections,” she said before the event.
“This kind of ‘health in all policies’ approach is the only way to prevent and control foodborne disease and deliver cost savings, and is very much in the spirit of the European Health2020 policy framework.”