The Food Risk Analysis Division of the Policy and Regulation Sector at Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) held a workshop entitled ï¿½Food Risk Management and Crises: Best Practice and Lessonsï¿½ by Mr. Khalid Al Marzouqi, Food Risk Management Manager, ADFCA and Dr. Fadi Al-Natour, Food Risk Management Analyst, ADFCA.
The workshop discussed the overall policy framework and agriculture and food safety policies with elaboration on key principles and procedures of food safety. Besides, they also reviewed risk management in food and agriculture which includes the monitoring of imported food based on the degree of health hazards, the risk-based inspection system for food in the Abu Dhabi local market, the implementation of HACCP for the food catering services sector, and food alert management.
The Food Risk Analysis Division receives notifications from several sources via specific contact points, follows them up and analyse the sources of risk associated with specific food-related accidents. The contact points include ï¿½World Health Organizationï¿½, "International Network of Food Safety", ï¿½European Commissionï¿½ ï¿½Rapid Alert System for Food and Feedï¿½, ï¿½Saudi Food and Drug " GCC Rapid Alert System for Food" and the Ministry of Environment and Water.
The Division received during the past year 76 notifications related to various food products, feed and other food-related materials.. The sources of danger comprised chemicals such as insecticides, bromate, heavy metals, banned coloring agents, microbes such as salmonella and coliform bacteria, myco-toxins, molds, plastic particles and insects. . Thefood alerts were of different types, with 66% comprising alerts for rejection at the border, 22% precautionary notifications and 13% for information only.
The presentations reviewed the main lessons drawn from the alerts and food crises through a case study of the Outbreak of Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome in Germany, which occurred recently due to E-Coli bacteria. The key lesson from all these was the importance of continued cooperation between food safety and health bodies for rapid exchange of information, verification of the accuracy of reports and information , preparedness to deal with food crises including food poisoning incidents and the ability to press into service specialized staff proficient in both the animal and plant aspects of agriculture as well as in food safety.