Consumers vs. Experts: Views on Food Safety Risks

Monday, February 4, 2019 12:25 - 13:00

External environment is changing faster than ever. Not only the consumer trends but also the regulatory playground, the scientific knowledge, the general information level of people as well as the global food trade are also evolving very quickly.  This evolution offers a lot opportunities for improving food safety but also a lot of challenges for ensuring consumer protection.

Consumer perception regarding food safety is very different from the view of the scientific and technical experts. This is why communication and education around this topic from the different stakeholders including the media is essential to avoid misunderstanding and misconception. The communication part is an essential element to make sure that the food safety and food fraud risk can be contained to the minimum and to gain consumer trust with transparency and facts

While consumers are asking more and more for local food, organic label, authenticity and transparency the overall food trade worldwide is increasing. This obviously triggers some challenges for ensuring food safety both for private and public sectors. Food safety incident can happen anywhere in the supply chain under multiple forms. Understanding the risks and having a plan in place is critical for every food business in order to protect its consumers. This management includes among others understanding the risk factors by building awareness internally and externally, promoting best practices, development of prevention plan as well as robust analytical set-up to verify effectiveness of system and process established.      

Fabien Robert PhD, Director NQAC zone America, Nestle Quality Assurance Center