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Second Africa Food Safety Technical Meeting

27 Jun – 1 Jul 2022
Johannesburg, South Africa
Event code: EVT1905225

Second Africa Food Safety Technical Meeting, organized in cooperation with the Government of South Africa, through the National Metrology Institute of South Africa

Venue: Emperor’s Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa, 27 June 2022–1 July 2022

As African countries strive to better safeguard consumers and access/maintain international food markets, and to improve their food safety control systems, it is imperative that stakeholders have opportunities to meet and address pertinent issues. This helps highlight work done, identify gaps, explore partnerships, share experiences and map ways forward. In 2018, a technical meeting on food safety was organized as part of an Africa-wide conference/workshop, in Pretoria, South Africa. The aims included enhancing collaboration among stakeholders and sharing knowledge on food safety matters of interest to Africa. A group of experts from a research technical meeting supported this conference by sharing knowledge and experiences on relevant food safety and quality activities and provided scientific opinions, highlighting the role of nuclear science and its application to food safety. The conference resolved that the event be held biennially. Since the last meeting, demand has increased to strengthen the continent’s food safety control systems, covering a wider scope of hazards while improving the capabilities developed, paying closer attention to food microbiological hazards including zoonoses as well as addressing antimicrobial resistance, responding to or preventing emergencies/outbreaks and promoting the One-Health approach to achieving better public health outcomes. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has also come into force since the last meeting, where a major area is trade in foodstuffs meeting acceptable safety and quality standards. These, among other developments, call for regular exchange in technical knowledge, experiences and networking among food safety stakeholders, hence the second technical meeting now planned for June 2022, after rescheduling in 2020 and 2021.

The purpose of the event is to enhance networking among food safety stakeholders in Africa through the African Food Safety Network (AFoSaN); to facilitate the sharing of analytical knowledge and transfer of developed technologies related to a range of food hazards including in emergence/outbreak situations; and to encourage continent-wide discussions on how to best improve national/regional food safety control systems in order to safeguard consumers and facilitate trade.

The scope of the meeting will include

  • Advances in screening and confirmatory analysis applied to food safety testing for:
    • mycotoxins, veterinary drug and pesticide residues, heavy metals, marine biotoxins, phycotoxins, persistent organic pollutants, microplastics and radionuclides
  • Foodborne microbial hazards: zoonoses, the One Health approach and antimicrobial resistance
  • Food fraud and food authenticity
  • Scientific capacity building and recognition of capabilities:
    • Measurement standards; proficiency testing and accreditation; sustainable skilling
  • Risk analysis: assessment, management and communication
  • Sanitary and phytosanitary requirements within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
  • Food monitoring and surveillance programmes; maximum residue limits (MRLs) or maximum limits (MLs)
  • Food borne illnesses/outbreaks: notification, responses and epidemiology
  • Food safety education, the private sector and stakeholder awareness
  • Regional approaches – transboundary hazard testing

Participation: The target audience includes but is not limited to representatives from:

  • Food testing laboratories (analysts and managers);
  • Quality infrastructure institutions including Accreditation, Standards, Scientific and Legal Metrology institutes;
  • Risk analysis (assessment, management and communication) institutions;
  • Epidemiologists;
  • Regulatory authorities and decision-makers;
  • Research/academia;
  • Industry (food manufacturers and distributors);
  • International and non-governmental organizations;
  • Interested general public and civil society.

All persons wishing to participate in the event must be designated by an IAEA Member State. Information and nomination details have been disseminated to IAEA Member State National Authorities (e.g. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Mission to the IAEA or National Atomic Energy Authority) through official channels. The relevant participation application form should be forwarded to the competent national authority for onward transmission to the IAEA by 15 April 2022.

The IAEA encourages participants to give presentations on the work of their respective institutions that falls under the topics listed above. Participants who wish to give presentations are requested to submit an abstract of their work. The abstract will be reviewed as part of the selection process for presentations. The abstract should be in A4 page format, should extend to no more than 12 pages (including figures and tables) and should not exceed 300 words. It should be sent electronically to James Sasanya, the Scientific Secretary of the event (see contact details below), not later than 15 April 2022. Authors will be notified of the acceptance of their proposed presentations by 15 May 2022.

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