Western Pacific Regional Food Safety Strategy (2011-2015)
Capacity to detect, assess and manage food safety incidents and emergencies
The protection of public health, through the provision of safe food, is the objective of national food control systems. However, even with the most developed food control system, such systems fail from time to time and unsafe food is sold, leading to foodborne disease. In some cases, emergencies will arise because of the severity of the disease, the extent of the distribution and/or volume of the contaminated food, or the system's inability to effectively manage the situation. To limit the public health, economic and societal impacts of food safety emergencies, national governments must be able to detect, assess and manage food safety incidents and emergencies. These capacities are also considered core capacities, as defined by the International Health Regulations (2005).
The international distribution of food and global travel are commonplace in today's society; therefore food safety must be tackled, not only at the national level, but also internationally through the sharing of information among national food control authorities. The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN), an FAO/WHO initiative, facilitates sharing of such information.
The Regional Office for the Western Pacific is working with partners and national agencies to develop food safety emergency response plans in selected countries.
Current food safety incident or emergency in the Western Pacific Region
Previous food safety emergencies
- Fiji flood emergency: WHO advises public to prevent diseases
- Food safety aspects associated with the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake
Turtle-meat poisoning in Chuuk, one of four states that make up the Federates States of Micronesia, 2010
- 2008 Melamine in infant formula
- FAO/WHO guide for application of risk analysis principles and procedures during food safety emergencies
- Terrorist threats to food: Guidelines for establishing and strengthening prevention and response systems