ASEAN to gear up for possible emergencies with food safety strategy

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BANGKOK, 27 June 2012  – As a preparation measure for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the 10 ASEAN nations have united with Bangladesh, Japan and Australia to come up with a food safety strategy in case of possible emergency situations. 

Deputy Public Health Minister Dr. Surawit Khonsomboon presided over the launch of a seminar of public health and agricultural experts and officials from the 10 ASEAN nations as well as Banglasdesh, Japan and Australia, to mutually devise a regional plan on food safety in emergency situations. The seminar is a collaboration between the Thai Public Health Ministry and the Asia-Pacific Regional Office of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Dr. Surawit said that the Thai Public Health Ministry has set up the Bureau of Food Safety Extension and Support (BFSES) to be in charge of food safety issues in Thailand. The BFSES will act as an International Food Safety Authority Network (INFOSAN) to coordinate with domestic and international agencies in times of emergency.

Currently, a strategy concerning emergency food safety is being developed in line with the principles of the FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO), in order to strengthen the country’s emergency warning system and food safety. The plan is expected to be finalized within a few years, in time for the official launch of the AEC in 2015.