The outcomes of an international food safety incident workshop, convened by Australia under Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), will lead to better food safety incident management across the Asia Pacific, according to Food Standards Australia New Zealand chief executive officer, Steve McCutcheon.
Mr McCutcheon said 18 member economies had taken part in the workshop, which will help APEC members develop and improve food safety incident management protocols and practices.
“One of the key outcomes of the workshop is the establishment of a Food Safety Incident Network amongst APEC member economies which will lead to a faster exchange of information and adoption of best practice approaches to help respond when food safety emergencies arise,” Mr McCutcheon said.
“Having better systems in place to manage incidents means the response to such events can be more efficient and effective, reducing negative effects on both trade and public health.”
The workshop was a key part of the program at APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) meetings in Montana. Australia and China co-chaired the forum.
In the third meeting of the FSCF since it was established, regulators and key international stakeholders reviewed progress on goals and restated their commitment to work together to strengthen food safety systems and progress towards a safer regional food supply chain.
Mr McCutcheon said work undertaken by APEC members had raised the profile of food safety in the Asia Pacific region and resulted in improved communication and information sharing on food safety issues.