Every human and animal must have access to safe and nutritious food or feed. Food Safety refers to how food is handled, prepared, transported and stored to prevent the contamination of food and feed with harmful food safety hazards. Hazards such as biological (bacteria, fungal, virus, parasite), chemical or physical hazards that may be encounter or introduced along the food chain resulting in foodborne- related illnesses or injury to humans and animals.
Increase of globalization of food trade, impact of climate change, increase food insecurity, antimicrobial resistance, food fraud and changing food systems has led to consumers’ concerns for safe food. Consumers are showing unprecedented interest in how their food supplies are produced, processed and distributed. To guarantee safe food all food ingredients must be identified and be traceable along the food chain using well documented food safety standards (GAPs, GMP, HAACP) to reduce or eliminate food safety hazards.
The increase in trade of food and Agricultural commodities among CARICOM countries and international trade; Member States are required to demonstrate compliance with several well-established food safety standards and regulations. A regional approach is being established for of a harmonized Regional Food Safety Strategy to have a coordinated national agricultural health and food safety systems to strengthen food safety actions within the region for safe and quality food Develop contingency plans to ensure that measures are in place to combat food outbreaks and address other food safety threats such as antimicrobial resistance and food fraud.
The establishment of CAHFSA as a regional body will work with the member states to facilitate a well-organized and coordinated food safety system addressing sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures as advocated by the World Trade Organization (WTO). CAHFSA continues to raise awareness in food safety issues and celebrates annually World Food Safety Day June 7 and World Antimicrobial Awareness Week November 18 -24,
Agri – Food Fraud
Food Safety Control Systems
Good Agricultural Practices
Good Manufacturing Practices
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point