The 5th Asia-Pacific Food Safety International Conference Ended On A High Note With 80 Speakers Advancing Towards A Safer Food Supply

Thursday, February 11th, 2021 | 707 Views

Food borne illnesses, food fraud and other safety and quality issues create significant adverse health, social, and economic impact across Asia as it does globally. PolyU’s Food Safety Consortium (FSC), as the Hong Kong affiliate of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), organised the 5th Asia-Pacific Food Safety International Conference (APFSIC) virtually on January 27-28, 2021. As one of the IAFP’s regional conference series, APFSIC featured over an impeccable network of 80 speakers and 400 registrants from the industry, academia, research institutes, government, supranational bodies, as well as students globally for a two full-day holistic, inspirational and educational knowledge, best practices, and regional plus global updates in food safety and quality.

Professor Yuk-lam Lo, Chairman, Advisory Council on Food and Environmental Hygiene, Food and Health Bureau, The Government of Hong Kong SAR said at the welcome remarks that “it is of paramount importance that we can spark conversation and exchange on how we can make the best use of the city’s powerful global connections and unique strengths to align world-class partnerships and contribute to the community with a “glocal” perspective.” To this end APFSIC pulls together regional IAFP affiliates to explore closer collaborations to address regional food safety issues.

The Keynotes and Plenary Speeches covered topics such as COVID-19 and food safety, FDA’s new era of smarter food safety, latest regulatory developments in Hong Kong, fostering food safety culture, food supply chain analytics informing management of public health risks, food safety from the perspective of animal health and zoonosis, smart technologies and innovations, controlling COVID-19 transmission through food packaging, supranational level adaptation in response to COVID-19 and post-pandemic era, and an engaging discussion among IAFP regional affiliates in strengthening their partnerships. Speakers come from the Centre for Food Safety, China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, United States Food and Drug Administration, APEC Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation, World Organization for Animal Health, FAO / WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission, pioneering companies, and research institutes.

Breakout Sessions covered new detection methods and intervention technologies, risk management strategies, food safety at food service and retail settings, AI, machine learning and big data in food safety, training and certification, consumer communication, produce food safety, emerging pathogens and their control, food fraud and authentication, sharing by DISH Global Centre for Food Safety and Quality, and updates of EU-China-Safe, a cross-continental effort to deliver an effective, resilient and sustainable EU-China food safety partnership.

“Under the pandemic and a new normal, global food supply is facing immense hardship and disruptions and is calling for pioneering innovative technologies with great adaptability, safety, and quality,” said Professor Terence Lok-ting Lau, Interim Associate Vice President (Innovation and Technology Development), PolyU, and Chairman of the Organising Committee of APFSIC. “APFSIC is the perfect time and occasion for food safety pioneers to gather, though virtually, and maintain our momentum in keeping our food safe despite these challenging times. In strengthening regional and global collaborative efforts and expertise, we are ready to embrace 2021 with the best innovations, the strongest partnerships, and extreme resilience.”

Founded in 1911 and based in the United States, IAFP represents over 4,000 professionals from educators, government officials, microbiologists, food industry executives and quality control professionals from 50 nations who are involved in all aspects of growing, storing, transporting, processing and preparing all types of foods. FSC, which endeavors to bring about the most cutting-edge food safety and food technologies to benefit the global community, has been recognized as the Hong Kong affiliate of IAFP since 2015, to synergize their efforts in advancing food safety in various regions of the world.


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