A current food safety issue is a food safety hazard that has already impacted the food supply chain and has known human (and possible animal and plant) health impacts. By contrast, an emerging food safety issue can be either a previously unknown or unrecognised food safety hazard that could present a risk to human health, or a known food safety hazard with a changing risk profile due to environmental influences. These may have a direct effect on the food chain such as occurs with chemical contamination, or may result indirectly from adjunct events such as economic shifts leading to supply chain difficulties. In the European Union, the European Food Safety Authority is responsible for the identification of emerging risks in food and feed. This necessitates data collection/generation and in this regard, national and international ‘networks of knowledge’ are seen as important.
The safefood Knowledge Network Expert Group of food chain experts have been identified the most critical current and emerging food safety issues of relevant to public health and the agrifood sectors on the island of Ireland. The issues are not ranked in order of importance. The list is dynamic and will be updated bi-annually. Members of the safefood Knowledge Network are invited to contribute to the further development of this list which can be found in the link below. There is also a further link to a Submission Form. Submissions will be evaluated by the Knowledge Network Expert Group.