The Arab Risk Analysis Network Contributes to Updating COVID19 Food Safety Related Scientific Inform

9 April 2020, Cairo

Cairo – 09 April 2020 – The Arab Food Risk Analysis Network Initiated as a Result of SAFE Activities Contributes to the Review of Scientific Data related to SARS-CoV-2 and the implications of COVID-19 on Food Safety and Food Business Operations

Experts from the Arab Network of Food Risk Analysis (AFRANet) issued a technical review of the current scientific knowledge on COVID-19 and the associated virus SARS-CoV-2, with an emphasis on implications on food safety and food business operations.

The review was organized through virtual meetings and email exchanges to which contributed 8 experts from the Network representing 7 Arab countries. The review considered studies published in the scientific literature in relation with the virus SARS-CoV-2, and other Corona viruses and their behaviour in food, on food and packaging surfaces as well as the possible implications on food production operations. The review also considered the various positions and scientific opinions issued by international organizations and food regulatory agencies around the world.

The Network experts produced a summary of this latest scientific knowledge on the virus SARS-CoV-2 and its relation with the food supply and food production practices in Arabic. A proposed set of measures to enhance risk management protocols and food hygiene practices was also produced in Arabic, with emphasis on mitigating risks of transmission of the virus amongst food operators and support to maintaining food production as a critical sector during the global COVID-19 crisis.

AFRANet is a network of scientists who successfully completed the tailored competency enhancement program in food risk assessment designed and implemented by the Arab Food Safety Initiative for Trade Facilitation (SAFE), in collaboration with Université Laval’s Food Risk Analysis Platform: PARERA.

Arab Food Safety Initative for Trade Facilitation (SAFE) is a food safety capacity building funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with the League of Arab States (LAS) and its subsidiary organizations the Arab Organization for Agriculture Development (AOAD) and the Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO).