FIA Video: Strengthening Capacity and Trust to Prevent Food Contamination

Mr Paul Mayers, Vice President of the Policy and Programs Branch (PPB) at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and member of the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) Governing Council, was a panellist at a dialogue session between the GFSP and FIA on 9 December in Singapore, in which he touched on the importance of a shift toward risk- and outcome-based food regulatory systems, in order to empower businesses. 

In this video, he speaks with Food Industry Asia (FIA) about how evolving food safety risks impact regulatory processes.

Food Industry Asia (FIA): How do food safety risks and food culture impact regulatory processes? How should these challenges be addressed?

Paul Mayers (PM): Food safety risks have been evolving. Traditionally, consumers have been most interested and most concerned about chemical contaminants. But from a public health perspective, microbiological contamination of food has really been the area of greatest concern, in terms of public health impact. And so for regulators, what this has done is created a shift toward a much more preventive stance – the implementation of preventive controls in food production, in order to minimise the potential for microbial contamination in the food supply.

And that’s really also impacted how we regulate, in terms of a much stronger focus on critical controls, the reduction through better sanitation of the potential for contamination, and the elimination of contaminants through the processing of foods.

And so, what does this mean for us as regulators? It’s strengthening our overall capacity to confirm that those controls have been effectively implemented in food businesses.