Strengthening national food control systems

[Guidelines to assess capacity building needs]

 Food safety and quality are essential for food security, public health and economic
development. Improving food safety is necessary to increase food security, which exists
when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient,
safe and nutritious food, which meets their dietary needs and cultural preferences to
have an active and healthy life (World Food Summit Declaration, 1996). Increasing the
supply of safe and wholesome food reduces the impact of food-borne diseases, which
cause many illnesses and deaths, as well as detrimental economic consequences, in both
developing and developed countries every year. Ensuring the safety and quality of food
exports promotes international trade, which provides a means to generate growth and
reduce poverty.
Effective national food control systems are fundamental to ensure food safety and
quality. However, in many countries, they are unable to ensure an adequate supply of
safe food for domestic consumers or to meet international sanitary and phytosanitary
requirements for food exports. Capacity building is necessary to address these concerns.
The identification and prioritization of needs are important initial steps in the capacity
building process. These steps are necessary to ensure that activities to strengthen
national food control systems are demand-driven and tailored to specific local
conditions, strengths and weaknesses.
These Guidelines assist countries to identify their capacity building needs in the core
components of a national food control system. They include five modules to assess
needs in: i) food control management; ii) food legislation; iii) food inspection;
iv) official food control laboratories; and v) food safety and quality information,
education and communication. Each module sets out a step-by-step process to examine
critically existing capacity and performance, consider the desired future improved
situation, pinpoint capacity building needs and identify options to address them.
Internationally accepted benchmarks for an effective national food control system are
incorporated, as well as practical tools and suggestions to support the needs assessment

Date and language
Jan 2006
Agris Subject Categories: 
Food distribution
Agris Subject Categories: 
Food policy
Physical Location: 
FPMU Documentation Center
Classification Number: 
Other information

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