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International engagement

Collaborating with international agencies involved in food safety and food regulation is increasingly important as the global food supply expands.

While food-related risks around the world may vary, sharing information, data and best practices in food science and food regulation can promote consistent approaches in analysing risk. FSANZ engages in a number of international activities including by participating in expert committees and forums. These are detailed below.

APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum

The APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum is a forum of food safety regulators which seeks to build robust food safety systems in the Asia-Pacific region. It is co-chaired by Australia (FSANZ) and China. 

As part of this work, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) in collaboration with food safety regulatory authorities and food industry peak organizations of the APEC region has developed an APEC Food Safety Risk Communication Framework and Associated Guidelines after 2 years of intensive project work. This publication is available on our website.

Codex Alimentarius Commission

The Codex Alimentarius Commission produces internationally recognised standards, codes of practice, guidelines and other recommendations relating to foods, food production and food safety. It aims to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in international food trade. As the Australian Government representative, FSANZ leads the Australian delegation to four technical Codex Committees:

  • Codex Committee on Food Hygiene
    • Codex Committee on Food Additives
  • Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food
  • Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses
  • Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance.

FSANZ also contributes scientific and technical input into several other Codex committees including; the Codex Committee on Food Labelling, the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues, and commodity committees including Fats and Oils and Fresh Fruit and Vegetables.

World Health Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organization

FSANZ supports the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) by participating in expert consultations and meetings, including the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives.

Other networks

In addition, we collaborate and exchange information with other relevant international regulatory agencies through networks such as the International Food Chemical Safety Liaison Group, the International Microbiological Food Safety Liaison Group, and the Food Safety Regulatory Economics Working Group and Social sciences International Liaison Group (formerly Quads groups).

More information about these groups is below.

Chemical and microbiological liaison groups

FSANZ is a member of the International Food Chemical Safety Liaison Group (IFCSLG) and the International Microbiological Food Safety Liaison Group (IMFSLG). These groups allow staff in agencies involved in the risk assessment, management and communication of food chemical safety/ microbial food safety to discuss and collaborate on issues. This process fosters understanding and agreement on issues and contributes to improved food safety.

Members of IFCSLG/ IMFSLG discuss and share information on:

  • current research and data gathering efforts associated with selected chemicals/ pathogens in foods (this can also help members fill data gaps in their evidence base)
  • risk assessment approaches, risk management options, and risk communication
  • guidance for consumers and the food industry on the occurrence of chemicals/pathogens in food
  • data generation activities, to avoid duplication of effort.

The microbiological and chemical liaison groups have representatives from:

  • The United Kingdom Food Standards Agency
  • Health Canadas Food Directorate (with participation from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as warranted)
  • United States Food and Drug Administration; Center for Food Safety and Nutrition
  • Food Safety Commission Japan
  • Food Standards Australia New Zealand
  • The European Food Safety Authority
  • The European Commission (IFCSLG only)
  • New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries
  • French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
  • Food Safety Authority of Ireland (IMFSLG only).

IFCSLG and IMFSLG meet approximately 2-4 times per year. Some of the issues raised at recent meetings include arsenic, acrylamide, bisphenol A, endocrine disruptors and caffeine (IFCSLG), and Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods and foodborne viruses (norovirus, hepatitis A and E viruses) (IMFSLG). 

Food safety regulatory economics working group and social sciences international liaison group

FSANZ is a member of the International Food Chemical Safety Liaison Group (IFCSLG) and the International Microbiological Food Safety Liaison Group (IMFSLG). These groups allow staff in agencies involved in the risk assessment, management and communication of food chemical safety/ microbial food safety to discuss and collaborate on issues. This process fosters understanding and agreement on issues and contributes to improved food safety.

Members of IFCSLG/ IMFSLG discuss and share information on:

  • current research and data gathering efforts associated with selected chemicals/ pathogens in foods (this can also help members fill data gaps in their evidence base)
  • risk assessment approaches, risk management options, and risk communication
  • guidance for consumers and the food industry on the occurrence of chemicals/pathogens in food
  • data generation activities, to avoid duplication of effort.

The microbiological and chemical liaison groups have representatives from:

  • The United Kingdom Food Standards Agency
  • Health Canadas Food Directorate (with participation from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as warranted)
  • United States Food and Drug Administration; Center for Food Safety and Nutrition
  • Food Safety Commission Japan
  • Food Standards Australia New Zealand
  • The European Food Safety Authority
  • The European Commission (IFCSLG only)
  • New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries
  • French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
  • Food Safety Authority of Ireland (IMFSLG only).

IFCSLG and IMFSLG meet approximately 2-4 times per year. Some of the issues raised at recent meetings include arsenic, acrylamide, bisphenol A, endocrine disruptors and caffeine (IFCSLG), and Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods and foodborne viruses (norovirus, hepatitis A and E viruses) (IMFSLG). 

Page last updated 6 December 2023