Food Safety Counsel
New Food Safety Authority in Africa
This past week, a team of international food safety experts met to set framework for a food safety authority in Africa. The meeting was hosted by the Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources in Rwanda. The focus was on how to carry-out the African Union Commission’s (AUC) plan for a pan-African food safety program. The AUC would like to model their program after the European Food Safety Authority.
The center of the program will be on safety standards and to monitor food supply in Africa. During the meeting, they addressed need for such program, the objectives, structure/functionality, as well priorities and an implementation road map. There was also discussion of creating a Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) program in correlation with the authority. Notably, the European Union implemented a similar program back in 2002. This RASFF would act as a forum to share information about companies who produce products that might be of risk to consumers.
With the new program, AUC is hoping to increase standardization throughout the region which will, in turn, increase trade. Although the new authority is still in the planning stages, it looks like the initiative will continue to gain traction.