The Global Food Safety Network
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Codex Alimentarius grants MoniQA Association Observer Status


After the 77th Session of the Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CCEXEC77) had reviewed the application of the MoniQA Association for observer status with Codex, CCEXC77 recommended that the Directors-General of FAO and WHO grant observer status to the MoniQA Association.

On 29 October 2019 Roland Poms, Secretary General of MoniQA Association, was officially informed that MoniQA Association has been granted observer status to Codex as an International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). As an international network of food safety and food quality professionals, we can now more directly interact with committees and working groups at the Codex Alimentarius Commission. We will continue our work providing knowledge and tools to assure safety and quality of foods on a global basis and now also contributing to the work of Codex Alimentarius, the joint programme of FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) and WHO (World Health Organization) of the UN (United Nations).

The Codex Alimentarius http://www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/en/, or "Food Code" is a collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The Commission, also known as CAC, is the central part of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme and was established by FAO and WHO to protect consumer health and promote fair practices in food trade.

Codex standards ensure that food is safe and can be traded. The 188 Codex members have negotiated science-based recommendations in all areas related to food safety and quality. Codex food safety texts are a reference in WTO trade disputes.

Report: 3rd MoniQA International Symposium, Rockville, MD, USA


About 70 international participants joined the exciting discussions at the 3rd MoniQA International Symposium on Food Fraud Prevention and Effective Food Allergen Management, Rockville, MD, USA, 30 October – 1 November 2019! https://rockville2019.moniqa.org. In the food fraud sessions on day 1 the speakers gave practical insights in litigation cases, class actions, and strategies and methods for detecting and combating food fraud. Some of the cases might give great themes for crime TV series with the difference that the cases presented are real. The symposium audience appreciated the presentations on the legal regulations and the sophisticated tools to detect food fraud. On day 2 newly developed food allergy and food allergen management tools and innovative analytical methods were presented and discussed.

A special thank you goes to all presenters of posters and talks, which stimulated food for thought and diverse views on various matters concerning food fraud prevention and food allergen management.

Day 1: Sally Greenberg, National Consumers League, USA; Bert Popping, MoniQA President and FOCOS, Germany, Richard Cantrill, MoniQA Past President and IAM, Canada; Michael Walker, LGC, UK; Manuela Beatrisotti, Technical Regulatory Manager, Barilla, Italy; Amanda Manolis, Thermo Fisher Scientific, USA; Atef Idriss, MEFOSA, Lebanon; Steven Gendel, USP, USA; Ricardo Carvajal, Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C., USA; Glenford Jameson, G. S. Jameson & Company, Canada; Allison Fulton, SheppardMullin, USA; and Cesare Varallo, foodlawlatest.com, Italy.

Day 2: Jupiter Yeung, Nestlé, USA; Clare Mills, University of Manchester, UK; Melanie Downs, University of Nebraska, USA; Anthony Flood, International Food Information Council, USA; Ronald Niemeijer, R-Biopharm, Germany; Eric Garber, FDA, USA; Martin Chapman, INDOOR Biotechnologies Inc, USA; Rakhi Panda, FDA, USA; Katherine Fiedler, FDA, USA; Anne Eischeid, FDA, USA; Weili Xiong, FDA, USA; Cesare Varallo, foodlawlatest.com, Italy; Bert Popping, MoniQA President and FOCOS, Germany; Gill Holcombe, LGC, UK; Michael Walker, LGC, UK; and Roland Poms, MoniQA Association, Austria.

The Book of Abstracts for all oral and poster presentations can be found at https://www.wageningenacademic.com/toc/qas/11/Supplement+1 published in the peer-reviewed online journal of QAS (Quality Assurance and Safety ,of Crops & Foods, which offers the entire supplement as open access. Please feel free to share this link with anyone in your network or also on your websites.

All presentations of the event are available for viewing for the participants of the event and for MoniQA members. We are already planning our next event, the 4th MoniQA International Symposium on Food Fraud Prevention and Effective Food Allergen Management will be scheduled in early 2021, the location has not been confirmed yet, but is tentatively planned to be in Vienna, Austria.

Please stay also tuned for upcoming meetings which MoniQA is organizing:

  • 10 May 2020, Workshop for Codex Alimentarius Delegates and MoniQA Members/Stakeholders, Budapest, Hungary: Risk Based Food Allergen Management/Defining Food Fraud (about 100 pax)
  • 7 June 2020, Celebrating World Food Safety Day with the United Nations. A special event to be announced.
  • In the week of 9-13 November 2020, 6th MoniQA International Conference “The Future of Food Safety in View of Changing Food Systems” (working title). Rome, Italy, in cooperation with various international organizations (about 250-300 pax)
  • In early 2021, 4th MoniQA International Symposium on Food Fraud Prevention and Effective Food Allergen Management (about 100-120 pax)

Thank you to our sponsors of the symposium in Rockville, MD, USA, who made this event feasible and affordable. Thank you to USP for hosting the event and thank you to the conference management team on the ground comprised of USP and MoniQA staff who did an excellent job in making everyone feel comfortable and by taking care that management processes ran smoothly in the background.


We hope to see you again soon! If you have any questions or if you are interested in getting involved more in MoniQA activities, please do not hesitate and contact us at moniqa@moniqa.org.

On behalf of the organizers

Dr. Bert Popping, MoniQA President, Germany
Dr. Richard Cantrill, MoniQA Past-President, Canada
Dr. Linda Monaci, MoniQA Vice President, Italy
Dr. Roland Poms, MoniQA Secretary General/CEO, Austria
Dr. Steven Gendel, Senior Director - Food Science, Food Chemical Codex, USP, USA
Dr. Cesare Varallo, Food Lawyer and General Manager of FoodLawLatest, Italy

Last chance to participate in the MoniQA PT survey

MoniQA 2017

The MoniQA Association is a leading international organization in developing and providing tools for food allergen management. MoniQA is considering to complement its food allergen reference material programme and its information network by extending its food allergen management tool box with a food allergen proficiency testing scheme. For this matter we would like to get your input and invite you to participate in an online survey. Please note that the survey will close on 15 November 2019, 17:00 CET.

MoniQA and LGC are exploring a joint project to improve the offer of proficiency samples for food allergen testing. In order to best meet the requirements and expectations of laboratories, we would like to know more about your needs. We would like to invite you to complete a short feedback survey. To do so please click on the following link or alternatively copy and paste this into your internet provider address bar. You may forward this email also to your colleagues or trusted clients. The more input we receive the better we can shape our offerings in the future.

Here is the link to the survey (deadline 15 November 2019):
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QPNSZCY

Your help in this matter is highly appreciated.

Report: First FAO/WHO/AU International Food Safety Conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 12-13 February 2019

Transforming knowledge into action for people, economies and environment

About 650 participants from some 130 countries were witnessing a strong determination to scale up food safety in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the First FAO/WHO/AU International Food Safety Conference, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 12-13 February 2019, which was organized by the United Nations to discuss the future of food safety and how to best transform knowledge into action for people, economies and environment http://www.who.int/food-safety/international-food-safety-conference. Priorities were discussed so that food safety strategies and approaches can be aligned across sectors and borders, reinforcing efforts to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and supporting the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition.

Several key areas were identified where knowledge must be transformed into action:

  • Investment in food safety pays dividends. Achieving success needs intersectoral participation;
  • Climate impacts food safety. Vigilance is required in maintaining food safety in the face of change;
  • Digitalization and other innovations can transform how we identify, assess and manage food safety risks. We must ensure equitable access of these tools by developing countries;
  • Strong and viable food systems require transparency, collaboration and communication. Consumers must be engaged.
  • There is no food security without food safety.
  • In a world of accelerating changes, the need for food to be safe remains a constant imperative.
  • And, in an increasingly complex food system, there must be greater attention to transparency, information sharing and collaboration.
  • Stakeholders from across the food chain share the responsibility for assuring that food is safe. Everyone has a role to play in food safety.
  • With widespread collaboration and the contributions of all actors in the food supply chain we can seek to improve food safety.
  • This is a pivotal moment in which international attention, key actions and strategies can make a difference in the lives of many.
  • A continued participation and dedication to improve food safety will pay off – improving human health and livelihoods, strengthening economies and protecting the planet.

In a second meeting at the FAO/WHO/WTO International Forum on Food Safety and Trade, Geneva, Switzerland, 23-24 April 2019, the trade-related aspects and challenges of food safety will be addressed. The two meetings will result in a high-level statement advocating for increased and better coordinated collaboration and support to improve food safety globally.

Resources:

Contact:
FAO: Food Safety and Quality Unit, Rome, Italy, food-quality [at] fao [dot] org
WHO: Food Safety and Zoonoses Department, Geneva, Switzerland, foodsafety [at] who [dot] int

A message from the Incoming President of MoniQA Association Bert Popping

The past year has been an interesting and exciting one! The topics MoniQA covers have never been more current: food allergens, food fraud and reference materials. No matter which jurisdiction you turn to, all of them have food fraud and food allergens high on their agenda. This also became apparent during the successful MoniQA conference held in Austria, and attended not only by the food industry, patient groups, laboratories, assay providers and equipment manufacturers but also by high-level FAO representatives. And as a not-for-profit organisation, MoniQA is well-placed to address challenging aspects of these topics in an independent manner.

Richard Cantrill, the outgoing president, has clearly shown his leadership, guidance and commitment over the past year and I would like to thank him on behalf of the advisory board and the MoniQA member companies and organisations.

In the coming year, MoniQA will continue on the path, helping stakeholders to address food safety challenges. The MoniQA team is already working on a number of new initiatives.

If you like to learn more, I cordially invite you to join the organisation and help pave the road to safer foods! Wishing all members and supporters a happy and prosperous 2019!

Bert Popping

A Message from the Past President of MoniQA Association Richard Cantrill

I am certain as I hand over the Presidency of the MoniQA Association to Bert Poepping that the future for the organization is very bright indeed. With the help of the Supervisory Board and Secretary General Roland Poms, we have been able to broaden our horizons in the areas of food fraud and allergen management. I was involved with MoniQA from its start as a Network of Excellence and now as a member-driven organization and am proud to have served as President. Now as immediate Past President, I have taken on the role of Editor-in-Chief of QAS (Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops and Food) and encourage you all to support this flagship MoniQA publication by submitting papers and also providing peer-reviews for our many submissions.

Thank you for your commitment to the Association and I wish you a successful and prosperous 2019.

Richard Cantrill

Open Access QAS Editorial by the new Editor in Chief Richard Cantrill

QAS

The first 2019 issue of QAS – Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops & Foods, the official international journal of MoniQA Association published by Wageningen Publishing – is now available online https://www.wageningenacademic.com/toc/qas/11/1. The editorial by Richard Cantrill, Past President of MoniQA Association and the new Editor in Chief of QAS is offered as open access paper and the full version can be downloaded at https://www.wageningenacademic.com/doi/pdf/10.3920/QAS2019.x001.

Here you can find an excerpt from the editorial by Richard Cantrill outlining the slightly refined scope of the journal and the new emphasis and expansion in a few new areas:

“Following my review, the editorial board and MoniQA supervisory board have agreed to small but significant changes to the scope of QAS. The revised scope and submission requirements can be found online (https://www.wageningenacademic.com/journals/qas/general-information). As a result of this review, we will maintain our current core subjects related to crops, crop improvement and conversion of crops to food, but will also place a greater emphasis on food composition, food safety and quality and the interaction between food quality and the regulation of global trade. To illustrate this broader coverage of food safety and quality, QAS is publishing a special issue in 2019 consisting of papers from the Global Harmonization Initiative which advocates for ‘science-based food safety law and trade’.

Report: University Lecture and Workshop "Reference Materials and Method Validation in Food Safety Assurance", BOKU, Vienna, Austria

Again this year Roland Poms, Secretary General of the MoniQA Association gave lectures on "Reference Materials and Method Validation in Food Safety Assurance" at BOKU - University of Life Sciences and Natural Resources, Vienna, Austria, http://www.boku.ac.at/en/, in the week from 25 February to 1 March 2019, 12:30-16:30 each day. The lectures were specifically designed for international students to meet their curricula requirements for their Master Studies “Safety in the Food Chain” and for PhD students in the areas of food safety, food analysis, reference materials and measurements, and quality control. Participation in the course and passing a final written or oral exam were awarded with 3 ECTS. This course offers theoretical and practical content and is perfectly fit to complement your CPD (continued professional training) for QC personnel in food industry and auditors. In addition to enrolled MSc and PhD students at BOKU – the University for Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, students of the European Master Studies “Safety in the Food Chain” and international exchange students, there are a maximum of 10 places reserved for MoniQA members (discounted fee for the one week course is € 120,-) .

The aim of the course/workshop on "Reference materials and method validation in food safety assurance" is to describe the issues and challenges involved in the international comparability and validity of analytical results in the assurance of food safety and quality. On the basis of practical examples the focus was on current hot topics, such as mycotoxins, food allergens, authenticity testing, pathogenic micro-organisms, GMOs, etc., the analytical possibilities (including rapid methods), and the corresponding EU regulations. Additionally, an overview of international standardization bodies and examples of international validation studies was to be given.

The course was offered in the framework of the international Master programme “Safety in the Food Chain (SIFC)”, http://www.safetyinthefoodchain.com/, which includes 5 participating universities across Europe. This international Master programme was developed to provide a profound academic MSc programme concerning all areas of food safety. It offers a high level study course by combining all the existing expertise of European universities. The content of the curriculum is focused on the whole spectrum of the food chain (regarding supply and production). 

The course is offered in English and was originally compiled in the EU funded MoniQA Network of Excellence FOOD-CT-2006-036337 and further developed by Dr. Roland Poms at BOKU and MoniQA.

Location:
BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Muthgasse 62
1190 Vienna
Austria

Participants’ appreciation for a successful Second MoniQA International Symposium on Food Fraud Prevention and Effective Food Allergen Management, 7-8 June 2018

The 2nd International MoniQA Symposium on Food Fraud Prevention and Effective Food Allergen Management in Vösendorf-Vienna, Austria, 7-8 June 2018, attracted 77 delegates representing all aspects of the agrifood sector. The event was organised by Roland Poms, Secretary General, MoniQA Association, Austria, and his team along with Richard Cantrill, President, MoniQA Association, Canada. The book of abstracts is published as volume 10, supplement 1, in the journal QAS - ‘Quality Assurance and Safety of crops and foods’, and can be accessed free of charge at www.wageningenacademic.com/foodfraud2018. The 3rd MoniQA International Symposium of this series is planned in latter half of 2019.

Down below a detailed summary of the meeting is given, thanks to Michael Walker, LGC, United Kingdom, who provided his personal report.

The organisers thank all speakers and poster presenters for their excellent contributions. Furthermore, we thank the sponsors of this event and all participants for their active participation!

Roland Poms and Richard Cantrill welcomed the delegates and introduced the conference which was an exciting programme of talks mixing cutting edge science with examples of litigation and enforcement. Strategies and methods for detecting and combating food fraud were presented as well as discussion of food allergy and coeliac condition, including precautionary allergen labelling, ‘free from…’, thresholds, laboratory accuracy and class action litigation.

The speakers represented the United Nation’s FAO/IAEA, IFS, LGC, USP, MoniQA, as well as industry including Nestlé, SQTS, Imprint Analytics, law firms and food research institutions, regulators, academics and nongovernmental organizations.

New Board Members in the Team/Supervisory Board 2018

On 5 February 2018 the election of MoniQA Supervisory Board 2018 was closed. We thank the elected officials for their support and leadership in MoniQA:

President: 
Richard Cantrill, Canada (2018)

Vice President:
Bert Popping, Germany (2018) 

Elected Supervisory Board (SB) Members:
Richard Cantrill, USP/MoniQA/IND, Canada (2018-2020)
Bert Popping, FOCOS, Germany (2018-2020)
Thomas Gude, SQTS/MIGROS Switzerland (2018-2020)
Linda Monaci, ISPA-CNR, Italy (2016-2018)
Sabine Baumgartner, BOKU, Austria (2017-2019) 

Scientific Advisory Panel:
Sigrid Haas-Lauterbach, R-Biopharm, Germany (2017-2018)
Paul Dewsbury, Thermo Fisher, United Kingdom (2017-2018)
Samuel Godefroy, Laval University, Canada (2017-2018)

We thank Marina Carcea, CREA, Italy, and Paul Finglas, QUADRAM, United Kingdom, for their support and service in the MoniQA Supervisory Board in the past years.

Association Auditors:
Carmen Diaz, FOCOS, Germany (2017-2018)
Gerhard Schleining, BOKU, Austria (2017-2018)

 

Chemical Food Safety and Integrity part-time MSc at Manchester University

MSc Chemical Food Safety and Integrity -  A part-time MSc in Chemical Food Safety and Integrity is a largely distance learning course aimed at aspiring factory or company quality managers who want to develop the knowledge, techniques and skills needed to deliver safe food products. It includes the following units:

AOAC includes MoniQA Milk Reference Material in Food Allergen SMPR

In its latest session of the AOAC International Stakeholder Panel on Alternative Methods (ISPAM) MoniQA’s first allergen reference material validated for use in milk allergen detection methods was included in AOAC’s SMPR (Standard Method Performance Requirements) for the “Quantitation of Milk by ELISA-based Methods”.

MoniQA at OLEUM first annual project meeting held in Thessaloniki, Greece

OLEUM

On 4 - 6 October 2017, OLEUM partners met in Greece for a project meeting to mark the end of the first year of the project and discuss progress and future plans. The meeting was hosted by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Roland Poms is member of the Advisory Panel and attended the meeting on behalf of MoniQA Association. The Multi-stakeholder Advisory Board (MS-AB) of OLEUM met for the first time. The MS-AB will meet annually to act as discussion platform to consult in different aspects of the project.

MoniQA Food Allergen RM Task Force met at AOAC 2017, Atlanta, GA, USA

The MoniQA Food Allergen Reference Materials Task Force met on 27 September 2017, 14:00-17:00 at the 131st AOAC Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The task force was attended by some 30 participants and discussed the progress and the next steps in the design and production of validated food allergen reference materials. After the first set of milk reference materials became available at the beginning of 2017 (see also http://shop.moniqa.org/), further materials are in preparation.

Order now! First validated Milk Allergen Reference Materials for Food Analysis

The first validated Reference Materials for Food Allergen Analysis are now available and can be ordered from MoniQA Association by using the online order form and return the completed, signed/stamped form to moniqa [at] moniqa [dot] org.

Not a MoniQA Member yet? Sign up today!

Membership in MoniQA Association is open to all institutions interested in food safety and quality related issues. MoniQA – the International Association for Monitoring and Quality Assurance in the Total Food Supply Chain is an international and interdisciplinary network of professionals from institutions working in food research, regulatory bodies and trade, providing solutions to promote a safer and secure food supply worldwide. MoniQA facilitates international research collaborations to enable services and products for food safety & quality assurance, progress and validation of analytical methods, training and continuous professional development, consultancy and socio-economic impact assessment.
Sign up for Membership in MoniQA today and start benefiting from the association’s international network and a variety of activities and services: www.moniqa.org/about/association.

Activities for research and analysis Activities for industry Activities for consumers Activities for policy makers

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