Global Food Safety Curricula Initiative: Harnessing the Power of Education
Consistent with the Global Food Safety Partnership’s goal of capacity building, the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) was commissioned to lead the Global Food Safety Curricula Initiative (GFSCI), which will identify gaps in food safety curricula and establish and harmonize core competencies at the undergraduate and graduate levels in order to improve food safety and security worldwide. Identification of the gaps in food safety standards and establishing/revising existing standards will ensure long-term food safety benefits for everyone from farm to table.
This will be achieved with a multi-layered and cross-disciplinary approach. The IUFoST-led initiative will provide a baseline analysis of the current status of global food safety programming through global surveys, assess and 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.
What is the Goal?
The GFSCI will result in a future work force across nations and regions throughout the world that will have the skills necessary to handle food safety issues and reduce risk management to make a safer, economical and efficiently distributed food supply through their positions in government, industry and academia.
How Long Will It Take?
The GFSCI is a multi-layered, multi-disciplinary project that is scheduled to evolve over a number of years. Progress has been made to date in engaging the diverse food safety stakeholders through
• Survey distribution on a global scale to benchmark the current situation,
• distillation of core curricula areas,
• formation of expert working groups,
• development of curricula within their area of expertise,
• regional workshops (ongoing) on the working group curricula reports to ensure global input allowing for incorporation of specific regional requirements.
Other areas under development include
• a Leadership Master’s Curricula
• a Food Safety Graduate Network
• a Recognition Process