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Call for Papers: International Symposium on Food Safety and Control


Why a picture of strawberries? (1) Researchers at the FAO/IAEA laboratories are developing a test to check whether strawberries are produced according to organic certification; (2) Nuclear techniques are used to check levels of agro-chemicals in a range of foods, including strawberries;  (3) Treating strawberries with ionizing radiation destroys disease-carrying bacteria and reduces the chances of food-borne illnesses, all while keeping the same taste, texture and look. It also does not leave any radiation residues. (Photo: Marivil Islam, FAO/IAEA)

The IAEA invites interested contributors to submit abstracts for the IAEA’s International Symposium on Food Safety and Control, to be held from 27 to 31 May 2024 in Vienna, Austria, jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The deadline to submit abstracts for original papers, oral or poster presentations is 17 November 2023.

The international symposium will bring together scientists, researchers, laboratory analysts, policy makers, regulators, food producers and other stakeholders concerned with food safety and control systems and maintaining the integrity of the food supply chain. The weeklong event will highlight contemporary and novel applications of nuclear and complementary techniques and will discuss future perspectives and opportunities.

“In the complex journey of foods, from farm to fork, nuclear techniques help to protect consumers by detecting, as well as eliminating, potential food hazards,” said Carl Blackburn, Food Irradiation Specialist at the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture.

About 600 million people per year become ill because of unsafe food. There are over 200 diseases caused by unsafe food, ranging from abdominal pain to cancers. Nuclear techniques play an important role in laboratory services to analyse food products for safety and control purposes, and in food processing, such as food irradiation to maintain quality, prevent foodborne illness, reduce food losses and extend product shelf-life.

Food control systems underpin food safety and quality, which are vital components of food security and are both necessary to safeguard international trade in food commodities. Food safety hazards can also arise from shocks to the supply chain. Pandemics, natural catastrophes, conflicts and climate change affect food production, distribution and supply chains and can negatively impact food safety.

Organized through the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, the Symposium will focus on key topics, such as:

  • Food authenticity and fighting food fraud
  • Food and phytosanitary irradiation
  • Chemical residues and contaminants in food and feed
  • Preparing for and responding to emergencies and incidents affecting the food supply
  • Detection and characterization of pathogens in food
  • Standard setting and risk assessment
  • One Health (holistic approaches to human, animal and environmental health)

“We look forward to bringing together the food safety control community and providing a platform to share information and to discuss future needs and directions. Participants from both the public and private sectors are encouraged to share their latest research and developments,” said Blackburn, Co-Scientific Secretary of the symposium.

To help countries enhance food safety and adhere to the stringent requirements of import and export controls, the IAEA has been supporting Member States and their laboratories through coordinated research projects, technical cooperation projects, standard setting through the FAO/WHO’s Codex Alimentarius, scientific publications, and through training and fellowship programmes at the Joint Centre’s Food Safety and Control Laboratory located in Seibersdorf, Austria.

Guidelines for the submission of abstracts are available here. Attendance is free of charge, and there is no registration fee.

Follow the Symposium on social media with #Atoms4Food

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