This review highlights governance challenges in food system transformation, emphasizing the necessity for original approaches. A case study on plant-based proteins explores resource-efficient systems and food waste, revealing insights into both the evolution and hindrances of food system transformation. The implications of this transformation on nutrition and sustainable diets underscore the need for changes in food safety systems.

The critical connection between food and the environment underscores the urgency for system change and research on new foods, particularly plant-based proteins and their modifications, to pave the way for a sustainable and healthy global food landscape.

Link to the review by THEO VARZAKAS and Slim SMAOUI,
Special Issue Editorial Board Members’ Collection Series: “Global Food Security and Sustainability”

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published the “Early warning tools and systems for emerging issues in food safety” report.

The technical report raises awareness of evidence-based innovative digital tools, providing essential background information to support their proactive use in food safety.

Early warning (EW) systems play a crucial role in mitigating food safety risks. Recognizing the importance of timely identification, national and international authorities now prioritize proactive systems.

Modern technologies, fueled by real-time data and advancements in AI and machine learning, offer tested digital tools for effective food safety early warning.

A groundbreaking article has been published delving into the intricate landscape of European food safety research funding.

Authored by Tamara Stelzl, Nastasia Belc, Nunzia Cito, Jana Hajslova, Sophie Scheibenzuber, and Michael Rychlik, this publication offers a compelling exploration of critical issues shaping the future of food safety research.
It provides an in-depth exploration of the opacity and fragmentation present in food safety research funding and organizational structures across the European research area. Interviews with funding bodies from six European countries formed the basis of the investigation, aiming to assess key issues related to research funding in general and food safety in particular. By engaging funding experts to collaboratively address challenges identified during the interviews, the consultation process revealed invaluable insights into the issues encountered, such as inadequate call management staff and insufficient research funds.
The culmination of the research is a set of actionable recommendations to address the identified issues and improve the food safety research funding landscape. The findings emphasize the importance of a concerted effort to align and harmonize funding strategies at the European level, promoting a more integrated and effective approach to ensure global food safety.

The research work has been conducted during the implementation of the FoodSafety4EU project FSOLab 3 dedicated to exploring the Alignment of European Food Safety Research by simplification of funding processes.


Results of multi-actor collaboration in risk analysis: a simplified risk assessment toolkit for rapid detection of emerging risks are published on EFSA Journal

The results of the pilot action implemented in the FS4EU FSOLab 1 are presented by Celine Meerpoel, together with Sarah De Saeger, Biancamaria Ciasca, Nunzia Cito and FSOLab participants. FoodSafety4EU acted as a hosting site within the EU-FORA fellowship programme and further explored the multi-actor approach in risk analysis.
The EU-FORA fellowship programme was dedicated to a multi-actor collaboration addressing risks of the unregulated mycotoxins T-2 and HT-2 toxins in oats. Critical gaps in risk assessment procedures were identified, leading to a joint effort to develop a strategy for rapid data collection and risk assessment, including the development of a risk assessment toolkit comprising of a training manual and two intuitive Microsoft® Excel files. The toolkit enables efficient data collection and processing, facilitating risk assessment calculations and rapid risk detection. Applying the toolkit to assess T-2 and HT-2 toxin risks in Belgian oats revealed minimal concerns, except for children aged 3–9 years, likely due to an overestimation.

The toolkit is available on the FoodSafety4EU Platform and will be refined based on user feedback, promoting better risk assessment practices. This approach empowers stakeholders, from professionals to policymakers, fostering collaboration and enhancing food safety practices.

Frederic Bayer, EU-FORA 2021-2022 fellow hosted at CNR-ISPA during the FS4EU project, has reported the main outcomes of his research programme in the EU-FORA Series in EFSA Journal.

The programme RECIPE (Risk AssEssment/Risk CommunIcation: understanding the context and addressing Priorities of the futurE – a learning-by-doing approach) was bulit with the aim of strenghteening the synergy beween ESFA and FS4EU.

A main focus was given to the development and testing of innovative ways of communicating food risks and food safety, targeting young adults and their families.

The programme included – among other tasks – moderating and animating the 2nd FSOLab4 workshop, where the fellow presented his own experience, ideas and examples of cartoon-based communication campaigns with Food Safety purposes. The workgroup was composed of actors from all the European FSS: FSA representatives (including Tunisia INSSPA), researchers, consumer associations representatives as well as communication consultants.

Read more on the publication!

Food safety is a global issue requiring global solutions. A resolution1 was passed at the 63rd World Health Assembly in May 2010 reaffirming this and outlining key actions needed to advance food safety in the coming years. One of the key elements to ensure global food safety is the ability to share data from food monitoring and other sources to better inform the development of preventive control strategies and risk-based approaches to food safety.

FOSCOLLAB is a platform accessible from internet and displaying together within dashboards various data (quantitative and qualitative) and information (e.g. expert advice) useful for food safety professionals. FOSCOLLAB allows linkages between databases based on 4 criteria: food name, hazard name, country of origin and year for data generation.

The overarching objectives for FOSCOLLAB are to assist food safety professionals by: Overcoming the fragmented availability of current food safety data and information; Providing easy access to global food safety data and information; Saving time by not needing to search and sift through numerous resources Bringing together data and information coming from animal/agriculture, food and human health areas to improve assessments linked to global public health Strengthening the underlying data sources by promoting awareness and increased utilization. (Source: Foscollab “Background” and “Objectives”)