GLOBAL – The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the launch of a new peer-to-peer online forum for global professionals working on and sharing interest in food safety issues known as the Food Safety Community of Practice (COP).

The COP’s goal is to expand learning potential, share diverse experiences and knowledge, encourage an understanding of new perspectives and stimulate individual and collective learning. This functional and active community of practitioners serves to streamline and expand quality technical information over time.

The Community of Practice will share, exchange and develop knowledge and improve the practice of food safety, learn first-hand from experts at regular events, access updates on WHO food safety resources and new publications and share lessons learned and knowledge based on collective reflection of its members.

Members will receive access to regular webinars, monthly updates and food safety resources. They will also submit their resources, event announcements and other content on food safety to be shared with other members of the Community of Practice.

Newspapers as food packaging

In other news, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Maharashtra, India has ordered food vendors not to wrap any edibles in newspapers while selling them to customers due to the toxic nature of the ink used during printing.

Directing the vendors to stop giving food items like ‘vada pav’, ‘pohe’, sweets, bhel and others wrapped in newspapers to customers, the FDA also warned of a strict action if the practice is not stopped.

”While giving a food parcel, the vendors often wrap the items in a newspaper. Since the ink used for printing the newspapers is made up of chemicals, offering hot food items like vada pav, pohe, fritters, bhel, bakery products and several other such food items, wrapped in newspapers can be dangerous,” said the FDA in a statement.

The FDA Joint Commissioner Shivaji Desai informed that in 2016, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had issued a pan-India advisory, banning newspapers from being used for wrapping food items.

“But we received complaints that the use of newspapers by vendors is still on. Therefore, in order to create awareness, we have issued this order,” he said.

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