Food safety metrics relevant to low and middle income countries

  • 09th May 2018
  • by secretary
Grace, D., Dominguez-Salas, P., Alonso, S., Fahrion, A., Haesler, B., Heilmann, M., Hoffmann, V.,

Kang’ethe, E., Roesel, K. and Lore, T. 2018. Food safety metrics relevant to low and middle income countries. Technical Brief. Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy Food Safety Working Group. Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions programme. London, UK

Food safety metrics relevant to low and middle income countries (LMICs)

  • The safety of food is a matter of growing concern, especially following the recent publication of the first ever global study on the burden of foodborne diseases. 
  • The study by the Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group of the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly a decade in the making, estimated that the global burden of foodborne diseases was comparable to that of HIV/AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis; with low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) bearing 98% of this burden.
  • Yet despite this heavy burden among LMICs, the systems and practices for monitoring foodborne hazards and risks, food safety system performance and related disease outcomes are predominantly utilised in high income countries (HICs). Whilst there are many promising approaches to managing food safety in LMICs, few have demonstrated sustainable impact at scale.
  • In order to better understand how this gap can be closed the Food Safety Working Group have produced two reports – a technical brief and an extended working paper – that synthesise the range of metrics available for measuring and monitoring food safety, with a focus on LMIC-contexts.
  • These outputs are designed to help researchers identify areas for further research, whilst offering an overview of existing tools and protocols to policymakers and practitioners.