Safer food, better health

World Food Safety Day


World Food Safety Day celebrated on 7 June, aims to draw attention, and inspire action to help prevent, detect, and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism, and sustainable development. 

The role of Veterinary Services 

Veterinary Authorities or other Competent Authorities are responsible for developing policies, legislation and regulations relevant to food safety thereby contributing to ensuring the safety of food of animal origin. Depending on the national structure of food safety systems, the responsibilities of the Veterinary Authority may be limited to the first part of the food chain dealing with live animals, while in other cases the Veterinary Authority may be responsible for the whole food chain.  

Veterinarians are trained in both animal health and veterinary public health (including foodborne zoonoses and meat hygiene). These competencies allow them to play a central role in ensuring food safety, especially concerning food of animal origin. According to the local context, food safety activities may also involve veterinary paraprofessionals working under the supervision of veterinarians. 

Generally, Veterinary Services contribute to the following steps of the food chain to help to reduce risks to animal health and public health. They may conduct inspections on-farm and in slaughterhouses, where they carry out ante-mortem and post-mortem inspections, to verify the health of the animals and the wholesomeness of the animal products, in accordance with WOAH standards.

Caribbean On the Move for Safer Food, Better Health 

Within the framework of World Food Safety Day, we took part in the webinar “Caribbean On the Move for Safer Food, Better Health” organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Pan American Center for Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Veterinary Public Health (PANAFTOSA), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA). 

During this webinar, Dr Martín Minassian, Technical Assistant at the Americas Regional Representation, delivered some welcome remarks and highlighted the relevance of the WOAH Standards, which are science-based and provide positive outcomes in the fields of animal health, animal welfare and animal production food safety. Dr Minassian stressed that: “healthy animals are the source for safe food“.  

PowerPoint presentation

WOAH activities on food safety
WOAH activities on food safety

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