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Cross-geography cooperation underpins the One ILSI Food Safety Initiative.

A harmonized set of capacity building tools, able to be used around the world, will improve food safety, thereby leading to better public health and safety and a more secure food supply.

In January 2017, participants at the ILSI Annual Meeting reviewed a One ILSI proposal for building a set of food safety training programs and materials. Originally developed by Lucia Anelich, PhD; ILSI South Africa, Junshi Chen, PhD, ILSI Focal Point in China; and Keng Ngee Teoh, ILSI Southeast Asia Region, the revised proposal presented here incorporates input from ILSI members, science advisors, and additional staff food safety experts.

The primary objective of the One ILSI Approach for Food Safety Capacity Building is to improve local and regional theoretical and technical skill related to risk assessment for food safety management. This covers both microbial and chemical risk assessment.

A secondary objective recognizes the nature of regional and international trade and promotes the development of harmonized, science-based food safety practices and procedures according to the World Trade Organization Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement (WTO/SPS). The belief underlying this objective is that people should have equally safe foods regardless of where they live.

Mike Doyle, PhD, Regents Professor, University of Georgia and ILSI Board Trustee, eloquently demonstrated the need for ILSI’s contribution in this area in a presentation using high-profile examples: the potential for antibiotic resistance due to use of antibiotics meant for human therapy in food production of shellfish and fish grown in aquaculture and the standard practice in many developing economies of growing fresh produce in untreated human or animal feces.

Dr. Doyle felt ILSI had an important to play in enabling production/processing of safer foods by identifying food safety risks and developing control strategies and in helping countries better focus resources on foods having greatest risk of adverse public health consequences.

There are three phases to the One ILSI Approach for Food Safety Capacity Building program.

Phase 1
Development of Risk Assessment / Food Safety Management Training Tools
This phase would leverage ILSI’s existing tools/materials:

  • The Microbiological Risk Assessment for Risk Managers (MRARM) material, originally developed by Industry Council for Development, the World Health Organization, and the Food and Agriculture Organization. ILSI updated the materials in 2016 for regional training events held in southern and central Africa. ILSI will make further refinements and will translate slides into French in mid-2017;
  • Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) Food Chemical Risk Assessment Training Programme;
  • RISK21 training materials and case studies;
  • Food Security and Nutrition (FNS) and HACCP modules used by the University of Ghana, with FSN modules updated by ILSI in 2016 and HACCP modules scheduled for revision n 2017.

Phase 2
Testing and Piloting
Improved and refined training materials will be tested and then piloted to ensure they meet the expectations and needs of intended audiences. This is already occurring for the MRARM training course and has also been completed for the RISK21 materials.

Phase 3
Cataloging and Distribution
Finalized training tools and materials will be launched and made publicly available through an electronic repository on ILSI’s website.

For more information about the One ILSI Approach for Food Safety Capacity Building and to become involved, contact Suzanne Harris, PhD, sharris@ilsi.org.

ILSI News | March 2017
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