AgribusinessAgribusiness report

safefood: Protecting public health and the wider food chain

safefood is responsible for promoting food safety across the island of Ireland, both to consumers and those with a responsibility for food safety within the food supply chain.

Food safety is critical at all stages of the food chain, from farm to fork. Food safety is one of the central pillars on which the reputation and sustainability of the agri-food sector is built. It is a key element that underpins food production ensuring that consumer expectations and the highest levels of public health are met.

To support this, safefood established the Knowledge Network in 2011, with the aim of encouraging collaboration and allowing greater knowledge sharing by those involved in all parts of the food supply chain.

To date, the network has been a great success, with over 3,300 members benefiting from a range of services including events, briefings, workshops, newsletters and the Knowledge Network website, videos and webinars.

To help achieve our goals, we have brought together a group of experts in areas including food microbiology, food trade, environmental health and food hypersensitivity to share their knowledge and passion for food safety. They strategically lead our network, guiding activities and advising on required training and supports, new services for members, and providing insights on food safety risks and emerging issues.

It’s exciting to see the innovation in the agri-food sector now, but we need to make sure that it is matched by our food safety knowledge and skills. Joining the safefood Knowledge Network can provide you with reliable, practical, easy to understand and up to date food safety news and information.

— Jenny Morris, Chair of the Knowledge Network Expert Group

The issues we look at are prioritised based on their impact on public health and the wider food chain. These include chemical and microbiological food safety, food production and processing issues, food fraud/crime, new food safety innovations, as well as broader topics which may impact on food safety, including trade and economic issues, climate change and sustainability.

The objectives for our ambitious 2019–2022 programme are:

  • to raise awareness and provide opportunities for the sharing and learning of best practice food safety knowledge on the island of Ireland;
  • to further develop multi-disciplinary and cross-jurisdictional working relationships between food safety professionals;
  • to provide a reliable source of expertise for safefood with a view to exploring existing concerns identifying emerging issues in food safety and enhancing the in-house evidence base; and
  • to promote cooperation, collaboration and synergies between professionals in the food safety arena throughout the island of Ireland.

Membership of this all island Knowledge Network is free and our members include vets, environmental health officers, laboratory staff personnel; food safety regulators and food safety researchers, as well as those working in trade representative bodies and in the food supply chain across primary production, processing, distribution, retail and catering.

Membership is also open to anyone with an interest in food safety working across the entire agri-food sector.

In 2020 and beyond, the Network will continue to keep members up-to-date on food safety issues and trends. With the support of the Expert Group, this all-island initiative will ensure members have access to the very latest developments in food safety as they emerge.

To join the Knowledge Network, visit www.safefoodkn.eu

Dr Linda Gordon, Chief Specialist
Food Science
safefood, 7 Eastgate Avenue
Eastgate, Little Island
Co. Cork, T45 RX01
T: +353 21 230 4100
E: knowledgenetwork@safefood.eu

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