Weekly Overview: Global Focus on Food Safety

GLOBAL - World Health Day last week had as its theme Food Safety – which is inseparable from strong and efficient animal health systems, says the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
calendar icon 13 April 2015
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At the launch of World Health Day 2015, the three standard-setting international organisations on food safety, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) met at the Rungis international market near Paris, France. They were joined by the country's Minister of Agriculture and representatives from the private sector, from the Ministry of Health and from the French agency responsible for food safety.

With the advent of globalisation and growing demand for food, ensuring the safety of food products is a key challenge for all countries in the world, they stressed.

The officials attending the launch saw at first hand how the French veterinary services take care of food safety along the whole food chain.

OIE head, Dr Vallat, said: "The existence of well-trained veterinary services, supported by governance structures, legislation and adequate human and financial resources is a pre-requisite to guaranteeing the security of food of animal origin."

A new survey in the United Kingdom reveals the level of consumer confidence when buying meat and the roles played by quality assurance schemes and provenance in that trust.

When asked in the BPEX survey to rate a range of food outlets in terms of their levels of trust in the meat they supply, 92 per cent of respondents said they trusted independent butchers either "a lot" or "a fair amount". Supermarkets were second with 69 per cent and fast-food outlets were least trusted.

Two-thirds of meat buyers agreed it was important they know where the meat they buy comes from and Red Tractor was the label most used by consumers to provide reassurance about country of origin and quality.

In Viet Nam, market pig numbers and the demand for pork just before Tet (the New Year Festival) were higher than first estimated, reports Genesus, and there was an adequate supply of pork for the holidays.

Another report from Genesus explains the chaos in the pork industry in Ontario, Canada, as the result of a strike at a pig slaughterhouse.

Also new this week is a report from VIV Asia in Bangkok last month.

On news of porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED), the number of pig farm samples in the US that were confirmed positive for the virus in the most recent week was 48.

Latvia, Lithuania and Poland has reported new outbreaks of African swine fever in the last week – all in wild boar. In Spain, new research has demonstrated the feasibility of designing a safe and efficient vaccine against the virus in the near future.

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