Looking Inside the International Food Safety Authorities Network Community Website

Savelli, C.J. and Mateus, C. (2020) Looking Inside the International Food Safety Authorities Network Community Website. Journal of Food Protection, 83 (11). pp. 1889-1899.

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) was launched in 2004 by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Since then, this global network has aimed to halt the international spread of contaminated food, prevent foodborne disease outbreaks, and strengthen food safety systems globally to reduce the burden of foodborne illness. However, INFOSAN has never been examined as a functional community of practice and its value, according to members, has not been determined in a systematic or rigorous way. A three-phased, mixed-method study has explored the experiences of INFOSAN members with respect to their participation in collaborative network activities to improve global food safety and prevent foodborne illness. Results from phase 1 of this study are discussed here and relate to how the INFOSAN Community Website (ICW) is being used to support network activities. Overall, the descriptive analysis indicates that a small number of active INFOSAN members contribute most of information shared on the ICW. A much larger group of members participates passively, logging on to the site, reading content, but not sharing new information. Four hundred eighty-two food safety incidents are documented on the ICW, the majority of which have been caused by bacterial contamination, most commonly Salmonella enterica. The results from phase 1 of this study provide objective, foundational information about engagement of all members and were used to propose new ways to improve the ICW. Integration of these results with results from phases 2 and 3 will help determine whether and how members' reported attitudes and experiences reflect their online behaviors. This information can be used by the INFOSAN Secretariat to increase active participation and improve international information exchange to mitigate the impact of food safety emergencies and prevent foodborne diseases globally.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Food Protection
Subjects:
ID Code:
148785
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
05 Nov 2020 11:15
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
23 Nov 2020 15:16