Working Group on Food Safety

Working group on food safety

Food that nourishes, can also make us sick and kill us. In recent years, food safety has been moving rapidly up the development agenda: the result of increasing evidence on its huge and under-estimated impact but also increasing concern over food safety as populations urbanise and feel less in control of the safety of their food. There are excellent epidemiological metrics to measure the health burdens of foodborne disease but there are many consequences of foodborne disease that escape these metrics, especially in low and middle-income countries.

This Working Group will survey the metrics currently used for measures relevant to food safety and foodborne disease, with the aim of developing a technical brief that raise issues and inform research.


The Group will focus its work on the development, synthesis and sharing of innovative research methods and approaches to food safety.

I.1. Aim      

To advance knowledge and scientific understanding among the global research community of methods and metrics relating to food safety.

I.2 Objectives

  • To review the metrics, tools, definitions and software platforms currently used in food safety research.
  • To produce a summary of current gaps and challenges related to these metrics.
  • To suggest additional metrics and new/refinements to existing methods that would help make research in the area of food safety more robust and/or replicable
  • To identify needs and opportunities for extending research on food safety in low and middle income countries


Group Coordinator:

Delia Grace, International Livestock Research Institute

Group members:

Barbara Haesler, Royal Veterinary College
Erastus Kang’ethe, University of Nairobi

Anna Fahrion, World Health Organization
Martin Heilmann, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Vivian Hoffmann, International Food Policy Research Institute
Sivlia Alonso, International Livestock Research Institute


Advisory Committee:

Hoang Van Minh, Public Health Foundation of India
Bassirou Bonfoh, Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques
Anne McKensie, Harvest Plus
Mohammad Aminul Islam, International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh
Jean Kamanzi, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations