Food safety experts convened a high-level Expert Working Group to plan food-safety training for the Asia-Pacific region.

Representatives from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) joined other food safety experts at a high-level Expert Working Group meeting on best practices in food safety training for the Asia-Pacific region. The meeting was held at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC under the auspices of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN).

“Food safety training experts from government, industry and academia were brought together to build a unique partnership that will enable the development and delivery of enduring food safety training in the APEC region under the PTIN,” says Dr. Robert Brackett, GMA chief science officer.

The meeting participants developed a roadmap for the identification and development of training materials that can be adapted to meet the critical safety training needs identified by the APEC economies throughout the entire food supply chain, from production through consumption. The Expert Working Group identified four specific areas with the most critical training needs: risk assessment, lab capacity, incident and supply chain management, and available materials.

At the conclusion of the Expert Working Group, an agreement was announced between the University of Maryland and Waters Corp. to establish an International Food Safety Training Laboratory (IFSTL) within the Joint Institute of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN). IFSTL will deliver hands-on, laboratory-based training to domestic and foreign scientists in the application of state-of-the-art, “fit-for-purpose” chemical and microbiological analytical techniques for monitoring compliance with the broadest range of food safety standards.