Integrating nutrition and food safety in food systems policy and programming

Stella Nordhagen, Elisabetta Lambertini, Caroline Smith DeWaal, Bonnie McClafferty, Lynnette M.Neufeld
Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition

This peer reviewed publication explores the inextricable link of food safety and nutrition. To achieve optimal human health and wellbeing, people must be both well-nourished and free from foodborne disease. Despite these linkages, policies and programming tend to be implemented from either a nutrition standpoint or from a food safety standpoint; the two groups of stakeholders are often non-overlapping, even though both are concerned with improving public health through the food system. This paper highlights the interconnectedness of food safety and nutrition (across health and physiology, consumer behavior, supply chains and markets, and policy and regulation), discusses areas for action on food safety and nutrition within the food system and suggests ways in which better integration of the two issues could take place within policy and programming, including key barriers to doing so.

This paper was adapted from an EatSafe program report, and if you are short on time, you can check out the Agrilinks blog that summarises the article.

Some of the key messages from the article are : 

  • Malnutrition and foodborne disease have large public health and economic costs.
  • The two issues are interrelated in terms of physiology, human behaviour, and policy, yet they are often addressed separately in policy, programmes, and research.
  • A more integrated approach to tackling the two issues within the food system is needed.
This resource has been peer reviewed