Food security incidents

During the primary quarter of 2020, the INFOSAN Secretariat was concerned in 38 meals security incidents involving 109 WHO Member States and 9 territories of WHO Member States. There had been 25 incidents involving a organic hazard (Salmonella spp. [8], Listeria monocytogenes [5], Norovirus [3] Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli [2], Clostridium botulinum [2] Bacillus cereus [2], Cronobacter spp. [1], Shigella sonnei [1], unspecified organic hazard [1]), 6 involving an undeclared allergen (milk [3], peanut (1), egg [1], gluten [1]), 5 involving a bodily hazard (undetermined international matter [2], glass [1], metallic [1], plastic [1]), one involving a chemical/toxin hazard (histamine), and one linked to an unspecified hazard.

The meals classes that had been mostly concerned within the 38 incidents in the course of the first quarter of 2020 concerned fish and different seafood (8), herbs and spices (4), legumes and pulses (4), milk and dairy merchandise (3), nuts and oilseeds (3), snacks, desserts and different meals (3), cereals and cereal-based merchandise (2), composite meals (2), fruit and fruit merchandise (2), meat and meat merchandise (2), greens and vegetable merchandise (2), merchandise of particular dietary use (1), and meals for infants and young children (1). One incident concerned an unknown meals supply.

During such worldwide meals security incidents, the INFOSAN Secretariat depends on the swift motion of nationwide INFOSAN Emergency Contact Points to answer requests for info. Rapid sharing of data by means of INFOSAN allows members to implement applicable danger administration measures to stop sickness of their respective international locations.

Geographic scope

The outlined incidents concerned Member States from all WHO areas: Europe (39), adopted by the Americas (24), Africa (24), the Western Pacific (18), the Eastern Mediterranean (8) and South-East Asia (6).

Recall in a number of international locations of frozen spring roll sheets from Singapore because of the presence of an undeclared allergen

In February 2020, the INFOSAN Secretariat was notified by the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) and INFOSAN colleagues in Australia of a recall in Australia and a number of other European international locations of frozen spring roll sheets because of the detection of an undeclared allergen (milk), imported from Singapore. In collaboration with RASFF, the INFOSAN Secretariat was knowledgeable that the implicated frozen spring roll sheets had been distributed internationally to 46 Member States from 4 WHO areas and Four territories in Europe and the Western Pacific. Moreover, by means of engagement with the INFOSAN Emergency Contact Point (ECP) in Singapore, the INFOSAN Secretariat additionally acquired particulars of additional distribution of implicated merchandise to extra WHO Member States from all WHO areas, taking the full variety of Member States concerned to 65. It was additionally reported that the merchandise concerned had been redistributed by some international locations to Europe, the Americas and Africa. Consequently, a number of international locations recalled the implicated merchandise to relabel them and investigated the difficulty to determine sicknesses associated to the consumption of the implicated frozen spring roll sheets. No sicknesses had been reported to the INFOSAN Secretariat.

This incident has highlighted undeclared allergens as an essential class of hazards that may end up in a largescale worldwide response to implement danger administration measures and stop sickness. In addition, it exemplified environment friendly communication amongst INFOSAN members and the Secretariat.

Outbreak of Listeriosis within the United States of America linked to enoki mushrooms imported from the Republic of Korea

In March 2020, the INFOSAN Secretariat was made conscious by the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of an outbreak of Listeriosis within the US linked to the consumption of enoki mushrooms, imported from the Republic of Korea. In whole, 36 instances together with Four deaths have been reported within the US. Following investigations in Canada, carried out in collaboration with the US, the INFOSAN Secretariat was knowledgeable of 6 instances of Listeriosis between 2017 and 2019 in Canada probably associated by complete genome sequencing (WGS) to the continued outbreak within the USA. In addition, meals isolates (from enoki mushrooms from the Republic of Korea) genetically related to the cluster of instances have been collected in 2019 by authorities in Canada. The WGS info pertaining to the instances and meals isolates had been shared on the INFOSAN Community Website to help the identification of instances in different international locations.

The INFOSAN Secretariat engaged the INFOSAN Emergency Contact Point (ECP) within the Republic of Korea to hunt particulars on any additional worldwide distribution of the implicated enoki mushrooms. Investigations are ongoing. 

News & actions

Food Sector and the COVID-19 outbreak

On 31 December 2019, WHO was alerted to a number of instances of pneumonia of unknown origin within the metropolis of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The virus, a beforehand unknown coronavirus has been named SARS-CoV-2 and is the reason for the COVID-19 illness.

The WHO Epidemic Information Network (EPI-WIN) goals to share info tailor-made to particular sectors, together with meals and agriculture. The INFOSAN Secretariat has lately developed a steerage doc for meals companies almost about COVID-19 and meals security which is now obtainable on-line. The steerage has additionally been disseminated by means of EPI-WIN and introduced throughout two webinars.

Call for candidates: INFOSAN Train-the-Trainer Workshop

In February, the INFOSAN Secretariat issued a name for purposes for the INFOSAN Train-the-Trainer workshop. With the fixed development of the community, and the elevated want for coaching that this entails, the INFOSAN Secretariat, in collaboration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), has introduced this workshop which goals to extend the human sources obtainable to coach INFOSAN members on a spread of INFOSAN-related subjects, on-line or in-person. As a outcome, it’s anticipated that the understanding of the roles and duties of INFOSAN members might be improved, leading to better participation that may improve pace and effectivity in the course of the response to meals security emergencies on the international degree. The INFOSAN Secretariat, along with CFIA, stay up for internet hosting this essential workshop later this yr.

Developing the brand new INFOSAN Community Website

The INFOSAN Community Website (ICW) continues to be an efficient device for the community to disseminate info throughout meals security emergencies. Over the previous yr, by means of the INFOSAN member survey, the Secretariat has gained a greater understanding of how members use the ICW and the way it may be improved to reinforce info sharing. The info collected, along with the expertise of members of the Secretariat, has supplied quite a few progressive concepts to information the event of the brand new ICW. The Secretariat is happy to announce that the aggressive course of to pick out the seller that may develop the brand new INFOSAN Community Website has concluded and the work on the creation of the brand new ICW has begun. 

Voice of an energetic community member


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