Dubai Municipality’s 16th annual International Food Safety Conference concluded its events and workshops, with a number of recommendations for food sector. The conference was held under the theme “Future Directions in Food Safety and Security,” drew participants from all around the world, including numerous specialists and experts in the food sector.
A record 3,100 people attended the conference, which also featured 68 scientific posters in a variety of food safety specialties and over 120 specialised lectures and workshops conducted by 116 international experts.
Futuristic and Global Topics
The specialised sessions and workshops at the conference highlighted newest innovative technologies for sustainable food systems, as well as upcoming regulations seeking to uphold food sustainability and security. The Green Path initiative was also announced at the conference, along with many cutting-edge initiatives and projects launched by Dubai Municipality in the area of food safety. Additionally, in order to improve mutual collaboration and exchange of knowledge on food regulations and innovations in food inspection, the Municipality also signed an MoU with the Global Food Regulatory Science Society (GFoRSS).
Consulting firms working in food safety highlighted various methods and practical solutions at the accompanying exhibition. The exhibition’s most notable component was a practical presentation centred on Metaverse technology and how it may be utilised in food safety.
The conference endorsed a variety of recommendations aimed at enhancing local, regional, and international food security, safety, and nutrition. Among these recommendations are the significance of harmonising national, regional, and international laws and regulations to ease the flow of food trade, increasing transparency with regard to laws governing the regulation of imported foods, and fortifying the electronic link between nations for the exchange of electronic health certificates for food to guarantee the secrecy and reliability of import and export certificates.
The recommendations further stressed on the significance of implementing federal food safety systems and coordinating the monitoring practises used by food establishments with various branches throughout the UAE. It emphasised the
importance of the ‘One Health’ concept in ensuring food safety and protecting the ecosystem, nature, and animals by advancing the control of primary production and its inputs, developing expertise of food safety auditors in line with the most recent advancements in this field, improving the inspectors’ knowledge of latest developments in the field of food inspection, and enhancing knowledge of inspectors on modern technologies prevalent in the area of food inspection.
Furthermore, the recommendations addressed the significance of promoting food safety as a culture by emphasising the role of food-trading companies in assuring community protection from foodborne infections and supplying safe and healthy foods, as well as raising community members’ awareness on adoption of healthy lifestyles to prevent the spread of non-communicable diseases, in conjunction with health authorities. The recommendations included adopting advanced inspection technologies to detect food pollutants, such as DNA testing for the detection of foodborne bacteria, as well as discussing the role of advanced technologies in agricultural production and enhancing food security. It was also recommended that food safety training programmes be developed using the Metaverse technology.
Moreover, the recommendations further affirmed on the need of handling pesticide residues in food effectively by utilising the extensive databases of several entities and stakeholders around the world. In order to achieve food security and safety, the recommendations also underlined the need to set pesticide limits based on risk assessments, without limiting foodborne risks to microscopic illnesses due to the requirement of including food-related chemical risks, such as mycotoxins and pesticide residues.