International Symposium on Food Safety Standard and Risk
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International Symposium on Food Safety Standard and Risk Management, March 27-28, Beijing Ensuring Food Safety from Farm to Fork : The Singapore Experience Dr Paul Chiew Group Director, Laboratories Group Agri -Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore. Singapore.

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International Symposium on Food Safety Standard and Risk Management, March 27-28, BeijingEnsuring Food Safety from Farm to Fork: The Singapore Experience Dr Paul ChiewGroup Director, Laboratories GroupAgri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore


  • A denselypopulated City State

  • Little local food production

    • Egg: 23%

    • Leafy vegetable: 7%

    • Fish: 4%

  • Over 90 % of food consumed is imported

  • Large volume and variety of food imported

National Food Safety Authority

  • Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA)

    • Ministry of National Development

  • Responsibilities

    • Regulating import and export of all food

    • Food factories and transportation of food up to just before retail

    • Setting and enforcing food safety standards

Food Safety from Farm to Fork

Prevention needs understanding of food production

Control along whole food supply chain

Contamination at farm, during production, processing & distribution

Unacceptable levels of contaminants pose health risks

Total system approach

Food safety at source

AVA’s Strategies to ensure safety of food

  • Adopt a science-based risk analysis and management approach based on international standards

  • Approach comprises :

    • Legislation & standards to protect public health

    • Comprehensive and integrated inspection programmes

    • Well equipped testing laboratories

    • Maintaining vigilance and daily scanning of reports of food contamination / recalls

    • Regular review of food safety programmes

Food Legislation and Standards

  • Principles & provisions consistent with WTO obligations on SPS measures

  • Standards and guidelines

    • Codex Alimentarius

    • Office International Des Épizooties (OIE)

    • International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)

Food Safety Inspection Programmes

  • Risk-based control

  • High-risk foods under strict control

    • Pre-market assessment

    • Health certificate, laboratory report

    • Certification by overseas authority

    • Inspected & tested by AVA

  • Low-risk foods

    • Post-market assessment

  • Sampling frequency depends on compliance history of products, source & importers’ track records

Integrated Food Safety System

Veterinary Public Health Centre

  • Singapore’s National Food Safety Centre

  • Well equipped facilities with ISO 17025 Accreditation

  • Multi-disciplinary science for providing comprehensive testing services in

Food Safety as a Shared ResponsibilityAVA’s engagement with all stakeholders

Multi-agency collaboration (e.g. joint investigations, One Health initiative)

Food safety public education (e.g. road shows, supermarket tours, exhibitions)

Food Safety Partners, Food Safety Awards Night, AVA-industry dialogues & taskforces

Regular Review of Food Safety Programmes

  • International Advisory Committee (IAC) comprising international experts

  • Reviews AVA’s food safety and biosecurityprogrammes

    • Review design & operational delivery

    • Advice on areas for improvements

  • Strengthen the rigour of food safety policy decision-making process

  • Enhances AVA’s efforts to tighten food safety net

Concluding remarks

  • Globalisation

  • challenging task for food authorities

  • heavy reliance on imports

    • Safety at source

  • Science-based risk analysis with comprehensive / integrated inspection programmes and advanced food testing laboratory

  • Constant vigilance for emerging threats

  • Regular reviews by International Advisory Committee

  • ensures AVA’s food safetyprogrammesremain effective and up to date

For enquiries

Email contact: [email protected]

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