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Food Safety Conference Explores Food Sustainability

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s (FSAI) Food Safety Consultative Council today hosted an open meeting to discuss how food safety interacts with food sustainability. When Food Safety Met Sustainability explored the need to ensure the food system can meet the ever-changing needs of society, while continuing to protect consumers’ health in relation to food safety. Sustainable food systems must have food safety at the forefront of its processes.

Over 200 people registered for the event, which was held in-person for the first time since 2019, with Irish and international speakers from the FSAI, the University of Nottingham, Codex Alimentarius Commission and representatives from Food Cloud, Keohane Seafoods, Cream of The Crop Gelato and Senoptica Technologies LTD.

Chaired by Ms Suzanne Campbell, Author and Journalist, the event also offered insights into how the pursuit of food sustainability is driving innovation, as well as exploring efforts in policy, standards development and regulation, which are shaping the way our food is produced, distributed and consumed. Understanding and recognising that food safety is a key part of sustainability goals, Dr. Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI, outlined the importance of food safety remaining front and centre of the necessary journey towards sustainable food systems.

    “Sustainability, the ability to provide for both current and future needs, is an important consideration in food systems. The FSAI is focused on ensuring that food safety and the protection of public health remain at the core of sustainable food systems. The FSAI regards food safety to be an integral part of food sustainability. The European Union has signaled its intentions through the ‘Farm to Fork’ initiative, and Ireland has set out its approach in ‘Food Vision 2030’. As a science-based regulator of food safety, the FSAI is actively engaging with the sustainability agenda in the food-chain. At the FSAI, we continue to explore ways in which we can evolve our regulatory approach to assist consumers in supporting them in making informed choices, and also work with food businesses with the common goal of ensuring the safety of food, in a sustainable manner.”

The open meeting offered members of the public and food businesses an opportunity to engage with the FSAI directly, a point highlighted by Mr Ray Bowe, Chair, Food Safety Consultative Council.

   “The Food Safety Consultative Council always aims to discuss topics that are key in the day-to-day lives of people. It is clear that there is a real desire to explore ways in which food can be produced in a more sustainable manner, and today’s meeting has shown how even small changes can have unexpected consequences, both positive and negative, within food chains. We continue to encourage everyone, including consumers, to embrace the challenges and opportunities in the ways we produce food, while ensuring its safety and nutritional benefits.”

Contributions on the day included Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI; Ray Bowe Chair, Food Safety Consultative Council; Gail Carroll, Directory of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance Building, FSAI; Jack A Bobo, Director Food Systems Institute, University of Nottingham; Karen Capcarrere, Food Safety Manager at FoodCloud; Giselle Makinde, Founder, Cream of The Crop Gelato; Brendan Rice, CEO, Senoptica Technologies Ltd; Liz O’Leary, Head of Innovation, Keohane Seafoods and Steven Wearne, Chairperson of Codex Alimentarius Commission.

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