Photo credit: International Accreditation Forum (IAF)

The pandemic has greatly affected the general public which includes the workforce, transportation systems and food supply chains. In effect, communities’ access to safe and adequate supply of food have been compromised. Aside from the threat of food insecurity brought about by the pandemic, food safety is also an ever-present concern all over the world.

According to a news published by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), it is estimated that 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses occur annually and thus, unsafe food is considered threat to health and economies. Moreover, an estimated 3 million people around the world in developed and developing countries die every year due to food and waterborne diseases.

Globalization continuously fuels the expansion of food value chains. Because of this, standards and conformity assessments have become increasingly essential in ensuring that consumers, suppliers, purchasers and specifiers have confidence in the quality and safety of food.

Accreditation and standards play a key role in ensuring food safety, security, authenticity and provenance. Both can promote consumer confidence in terms of their expectations on environmental impact and sustainable and ethical production. Likewise, food safety policies have a critical role in assuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain – from production, harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all through to preparation and consumption.

Screenshot taken on 27 November 2020 Webinar

Recognizing these factors, the Philippine Accreditation Bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-PAB) conducted a series of webinars entitled, “Briefing on Accreditation: Improving Food Safety and Food Security in a Pandemic”. The first series was held on June 9, 2020 in support to the World Accreditation Day 2020. The subsequent seminars were done on July 30, September 30 and the most recent, was on November 27, 2020.

Topics on Accreditation: Improving Food Safety and Security; Quality Management System in Food Supply Chain (Overview of ISO 22000); Food Safety Guidelines for the Agri-Fishery Sector During COVID-19 Pandemic; The Impact of COVID-19 in the Food Industry; Licensing of Food Establishment in the New Normal; and The Role of Laboratories in Food Safety and Quality were touched on these webinars.

PAB hopes that these topics will lead to food safety and security practices of the general public through proper food supply chain management.

The impact of COVID-19 in the food industry has been tremendous. However, an established system can lead to a good contingency plan that could provide opportunities to evolve and continuously operate despite the current situation.

Stay aware and informed about the latest news, events and accreditation updates by logging on to the PAB website:  

Release Date: 09 December 2020