Ensuring food safety around the world has been identified as a key public health priority, essential to health protection and economic development. At the first annual Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) Conference in December 2012, it was announced that the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) had been commissioned to lead an initiative by academia and other partners to identify gaps in food safety curricula, build capacity, and establish and harmonize core competencies at the university and graduate levels. This is the Global Food Safety Curricula Initiative (GFSCI), an ambitious project which will add the power of education to ensuring food safety on a global level.
Supported by the GFSP, facilitated by the World Bank, and led by IUFoST, the GFSCI process is already underway. IUFoST’s multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach brings together scientists and industry experts from many fields from around the world to assess the core competencies needed at each level with partners across academia, industry and government. They will determine what constitutes an international standard for core food safety curricula, implement a recognition program for existing programs which meet those standards, and identify any remaining gaps in food safety programming.
The outcome of the GFSCI will be a common curricula for global food safety. It will ensure a future work force across nations and regions throughout the world with the skills necessary to handle food safety issues and risk management to make a safer, economical and efficiently distributed food supply through their positions in government, industry and academia.
Food Safety is a Global Public Good that requires local solutions in close collaboration between the public and private sectors, based on globally applicable principles. Improving food safety globally would contribute significantly to economic development, facilitating trade, improving public health, and mitigation of global food and nutrition security risks.
Final Statement, 1st Annual Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) Conference: Coming Together for a Global Public Good, December 2012