A Tough Nut or a Bitter Pill: The Realities of Global Food Safety

The most passionate minds in global food safety and traceability are gathering in Anaheim, CA this week for the Global Food Safety Conference (GFSC).  With mission statements like “One World, One Safe Food Supply”, retailers, manufacturers and suppliers alike are slowly but surely beginning to embrace a significant paradigm shift and fundamental change in the way they prioritize the safety and compliance of their food offerings.

Andrew Smith, author of the article “The Three Pillars of Food Safety in the 21st Century” explains, “At the heart of these changes are two things: The power and influence of the GFSI [Global Food Safety Initiative] in driving a consistent, harmonized approach to food safety and the shift in the certification and audit services towards more professional assessors consistently delivering more valuable assessments.”

His points indicate a slow shift towards global accountability and collaboration.  But in a 2/25 Food Safety News article, “Is FSMA Sparking Concern Abroad?,” it seems that “the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is not held in the highest regard by foreign governments.”  The reasoning behind this, the article goes on to say, is “Some foreign governments are worried that implementation of the legislation will focus more on imported food than on domestic production….He points to China and the European Union for now, but said countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia could also take issue.”

The complexity of this tough nut is defined by not only the operational aspects of maintaining and securing a global supply chain, but by a tight weave of economic and political forces.  It seems our safety has come to this.

For any of you in Anaheim this week for the GFSC, I encourage you to be bold, approach the microphone, and ask the tough questions around accountability and collaboration.

What say you, FoodieData thinkers?