Food Safety or Food Safety?

On June 7, the seminar called "How the 2023-24 season is coming", organized by the National Society of Agriculture (SNA) was held. This had an excellent opening by the president of the entity, Antonio Walker, after which the Minister of Agriculture, Esteban Valenzuela, intervened. In a very interesting speech, the authority listed what his portfolio has done and will do in the remainder of President Gabriel Boric's term.

In his presentation, the headline stood out: “Food Security”. At my table I heard someone say: “it's great that they talk about Food Safety”… and the fact is that the term is misleading. The truth is that the best translation of Food Safety is not food safety, but food safety. When we talk about food safety or Food Safety we are going to refer to a guarantee. What is that guarantee? That these foods do not harm human health and for which, we must ensure our entire food chain, which over time has become increasingly extensive, because the well-known "from the field to the fork" (since the field to the fork) was a matter of hours 40 years ago, but today, by crossing borders, it can last for months.

With this, I do not want to say at all that the minister is not interested in Food Safety, because very surely he is, but when he enunciated his presentation with the phrase "food safety", what he was referring to was what in the United States .UU is called “Food Security” and it is related to the sufficient availability of food for our country. It is, without a doubt, essential to ensure this availability as a government policy, since the lack of some foods can distort prices and, therefore, easy economic access to them. For us Spanish speakers, it is then easy to get confused between the two concepts.

Chile has managed to come out of various Food Safety crises, such as the problem with poisoned grapes in 1989, some cases of salmonella in vegetables, listeria in goat cheese, to name just a few. The important thing is that each crisis has given us the opportunity to emerge stronger, most of the time supported by investment in technology that has helped us to have quick and timely access to our information.

So, are we going to talk about food safety or food safety?

John Paul Avendano
iFoodDS Representative for South America

Blueberries Consulting

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