13 Nov 2013

Global food safety forum opens in Dunedin

8:12 am on 13 November 2013

World food safety standards are set to come under scrutiny at an international forum in Dunedin.

It's the first time the Global Food Safety Forum has been held in New Zealand and 40 of the 150 delegates are coming from China, which usually hosts the event in Beijing.

Forum executive director Dr Helen Darling says it was planned before Fonterra's botulism scare and product recall broke earlier this year. However, that incident makes the discussions even more timely.

"The timing is entirely coincidental. We had been planning to bring the forum here and it just so happened that there was another issue for New Zealand," Dr Darling says.

"The reality is is that these food safety issues are going on all of the time all around the world, so there is a greater awareness and, really, that's just one of the reasons that we're bringing the conference here, to increase that discussion."

Issues which will be covered in the forum include increasing communication and collaboration and looking at what new emerging threats or issues may be for the food supply chain. It will also showcase good New Zealand producers, she says.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy was to open the forum on Wednesday.