NATO-SPS Pilot Study on Food Chain Security: Findings and Recommendations

ALPAS H., Smith M.

NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Advances in Food Security and Safety against Terrorist Threats and Natural Disasters, Cairo, Egypt, 13 - 15 April 2010, pp.1-15 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/978-94-007-1100-6_1
  • City: Cairo
  • Country: Egypt
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-15
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The chapter reports the outcomes of an ongoing NATO-SPS Pilot Study on "Food Chain Security." These include (1) Overview of the food system in participating countries; (2) Prevention, surveillance and detection systems and (3) Response systems. A survey was carried out in order to identify the concerns of the food industries with regard to contamination of the food chain (i.e. what did the industry perceive as the main hazards associated with the food chain?); to evaluate the extent to which food safety management systems had been implemented as a safeguard against contamination incidents and to determine the feasibility and limitations of conducting such a survey within participating countries. A survey tool was prepared and sent to public and private food sector(s) by each group member. A total of 18 different countries participated in the pilot study and nine countries completed the survey. Participants' views were gathered, and the outcomes are discussed in terms of reducing possible risks and threats to the food system. The detailed analysis of the outcomes will be a key to address to the countermeasures that are necessary to be taken to minimize the adverse effect(s) on human health, society, and environment at large. The possible scenarios developed by the experts in the project duration are shared. These are believed to be useful in developing a prototype system and for sharing information related to acts of terrorism to the environment, agriculture, and water systems. The final outputs given here allow some comparison between country partners and identify common weaknesses of the food systems in general. The importance of continuing exchange of experience between participating countries in the area of legal regulations, logistical and institutional aspects of food safety is highly encouraged.