INFOSAN Quarterly Abstract, 2020 #4

Meals security occasions

Throughout the fourth quarter of 2020, the INFOSAN Secretariat was concerned in 23 meals security occasions involving 37 Member States. There have been 11 occasions involving a organic hazard [Salmonella (5), Listeria monocytogenes (2), E.coli (2), Rotavirus (1)
and Clostridium botulinum (1)], 6 involving a chemical hazard [histamine (2), ethylene oxide (1), hydrogen peroxide (1), methanol (1), and an unspecified chemical solvent (1)], 3 involving an undeclared allergen [milk (1), mustard (1) and
peanut (1)], and three involving a bodily hazard [metal (2), and bone fragments (1)].

The meals classes mostly concerned in these 23 occasions have been milk and dairy merchandise (7), herbs, spices and condiments (3), fish and different seafood (2), fruit and fruit merchandise (2), nuts and oilseeds (2), snacks, desserts, and different meals (2), alcoholic
drinks (1), cereals and cereal-based merchandise (1), meat and meat merchandise (1), and merchandise for particular dietary use (1). The meals class concerned in one of many occasions is unknown (1).

These occasions concerned Member States from Europe (12), the Americas (8) the Western Pacific (8), South-East Asia (4), the Japanese Mediterranean (3) and Africa (2).

Throughout such worldwide meals security occasions, the INFOSAN Secretariat depends on the
swift motion of nationwide INFOSAN Emergency Contact Factors to answer requests for data. Fast sharing of knowledge by way of INFOSAN allows members to implement applicable danger administration measures to stop sickness of their respective international locations.

Information & Actions

Capability constructing workshop on fast response throughout meals security crises for South-East Asian Member States, 8-9 October 2020

In October, the Secretariat supported a digital capability constructing workshop on fast response throughout meals security crises, coordinated by the Nationwide Company of Drug and Meals Management in Indonesia with a number of worldwide consultants’ help. Individuals
included INFOSAN members and different meals security professionals from Member States belonging to the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Utilizing a digital classroom, facilitators and individuals related from greater than a dozen international locations to
trade concepts and be taught from one another’s experiences. Individuals reviewed the ideas of food safety emergency response plans, risk communication during food safety crises and the roles and responsibilities of INFOSAN members in the course of the
coordination of a global meals security emergency response. The Secretariat is constant its work to make sure complementarity between INFOSAN and regional programs just like the ASEAN Fast Alert System for Meals and Feed.

Regional webinar sequence for INFOSAN members in Africa, November 2020

In November, the Secretariat, in collaboration with the African Union and the FAO and WHO regional workplaces for Africa, hosted a sequence of coaching webinars on strengthening nationwide and worldwide meals security networks and response programs. Individuals
included INFOSAN members and different meals security stakeholders from the area. Throughout the webinars, individuals enhanced their understanding of INFOSAN processes and procedures and clarified roles and duties of community members. Worldwide
consultants additionally shared their experiences and launched individuals to useful instruments and assets to help meals security emergency response actions. For instance, this included an outline of just lately revealed useful resource materials that can be utilized
for the event of a national protocol for information sharing with national and international partners during food safety events and outbreaks of foodborne illness. The Secretariat is dedicated to supporting Member States within the area to reinforce their capability for
energetic participation in INFOSAN and reply extra successfully to meals security emergencies sooner or later.

INFOSAN webinar for Member States in Europe and Central Asia, 26 November 2020

Later in November, the Secretariat supported the group of a coaching webinar for Member States in Europe and Central Asia with regional counterparts at FAO and WHO. Throughout the webinar, it was highlighted that a number of Joint External Evaluations
carried out within the area below the Monitoring and Analysis Framework of the Worldwide Well being Laws emphasised the necessity to strengthen meals security emergency response programs, together with international locations’ energetic participation in INFOSAN. Individuals
have been due to this fact familiarized with INFOSAN and the way it may be used to facilitate the fast trade of knowledge between nationwide authorities and throughout borders throughout meals security incidents and emergencies. Nation views have been shared by INFOSAN
members from Portugal and North Macedonia relating to their use of and engagement with INFOSAN. The necessary working association between INFOSAN and the European Rapid Alert System for Food And Feed was additionally highlighted. The Secretariat will proceed to work with companions and Member States within the area to strengthen meals security and bolster energetic participation in community actions.

Seventh regional assembly for strengthening INFOSAN within the Americas, 10-11 December 2020

In December, the Secretariat and colleagues from the Pan-American Well being Group (PAHO) and the FAO Regional Workplace for Latin America and the Caribbean held the seventh Regional Assembly of INFOSAN members within the Americas, hosted just about by Argentina.
Community members from throughout the area joined the net assembly to overview achievements and challenges confronted over the past 12 months and spotlight progress in a number of technical areas of explicit curiosity within the Americas. For instance, colleagues from
Guyana elaborated on their efforts to coordinate meals security actions throughout sectors and between companies on the nationwide stage and mirrored on a current emergency communication simulation train carried out by the Secretariat. The opposite Member
States are invited to facilitate such simulations to check their nationwide protocols for communication throughout worldwide meals security incidents, and the Secretariat is standing by to help. Throughout the assembly, INFOSAN members from Argentina, Brazil,
Canada and the USA shared their experiences regarding COVID-19 and super-spreader incidents within the meals sector and described the assorted impacts on the meals chain. Lastly, members from Argentina, Mexico and the Caribbean Public Well being Company supplied
an outline of their actions associated to using Whole Genome Sequencing for tackling antimicrobial resistance in the food sector. The Secretariat is grateful for all members’
energetic participation in the course of the on-line assembly and extends its gratitude on behalf of your complete community to the nationwide authorities from Argentina for internet hosting the digital occasion.

2020 in Evaluation

As described within the INFOSAN Secretariat Strategic Plan for 2020-2025, work
is ongoing to develop a complete record of indicators and annual targets for every of the outlined strategic actions. Of explicit word for 2020 is the variety of Member States with a registered INFOSAN Emergency Contact Level, which has elevated
from 172/194 (89%) in 2019 to 178/194 (92%) in 2020. The variety of Member States with not less than a number of registered INFOSAN Focal Factors elevated from 138/194 (71%) in 2019 to 155/194 (80%) in 2020. Outreach continues to all Member States to develop
the community and guarantee members are designated from all nationwide authorities with a stake in meals security.

This 12 months, the variety of notifications coming instantly from members or members through the European Fee Contact Level elevated barely from 84% in 2019 to 87% in 2020. That is necessary because it means details about these meals security incidents is being exchanged sooner than these incidents detected by way of different technique of event-based surveillance (e.g. media monitoring). Nonetheless, the common variety of days between requests by the Secretariat for details about meals security incidents and the supply of the requested data by INFOSAN members was 5 days in 2020. That is faster than the historical average of seven days, however not but to the goal of three days proposed within the strategic plan. Sooner provision of knowledge means nationwide authorities are extra rapidly in a position to apply essential danger administration measures and shield customers from doubtlessly unsafe meals.

The Secretariat will proceed to work with members and companions to halt the worldwide unfold of contaminated meals, stop foodborne illness outbreaks, and strengthen meals security programs globally to scale back the burden of foodborne ailments.

Voice of an energetic community member

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