Ensuring food safety around the world has been identified as a key public health priority, essential to health protection and economic development. At the first annual Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) Conference in December 2012, it was announced that the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) had been commissioned to lead an initiative by academia and other partners to identify gaps in food safety curricula, build capacity, and establish and harmonize core competencies at the university and graduate levels. This is the Global Food Safety Curricula Initiative (GFSCI), an ambitious project which will add the power of education to ensuring food safety on a global level.
Supported by the GFSP, facilitated by the World Bank, and led by IUFoST, the GFSCI process is already underway. IUFoST’s multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach brings together scientists and industry experts from many fields from around the world to assess the core competencies needed at each level with partners across academia, industry and government. They will determine what constitutes an international standard for core food safety curricula, implement a recognition program for existing programs which meet those standards, and identify any remaining gaps in food safety programming.