Integrating food safety and nutrition for improved health and wellbeing: A new lens on food system frameworks


Food safety and nutrition are inextricably linked. To achieve optimal human health and wellbeing, people must be both well-nourished and free from foodborne disease - which requires that they have access to diverse foods, both staple foods and nutrient-dense nonstaples, that are safe to eat. Despite these linkages, the connections between food safety and nutrition have been largely lacking from existing frameworks for nutrition or food safety and those for the food system overall. Existing frameworks for food systems tend to omit food safety or treat it superficially, as only one sub-component of one aspect of the framework, as opposed to integrated throughout. Similarly, few frameworks within the food safety field explicitly consider nutrition concerns or identify a conceptual framework for guiding policy linking the two. As a result, these frameworks are unable to highlight relevant pathways for integrated action and measurement related to food safety and nutrition. 

This report looks at existing conceptual frameworks for food systems with a new lens that links food safety and nutrition and explores how such a perspective can be used to improve policy and programming. This new lens for viewing food safety frameworks was constructed following a review of the main prior conceptual frameworks for food safety and/or food systems/nutrition as well as of other analyses tackling the two topics jointly. It was also informed by an in-depth systematic review of research on linkages between food safety and nutrition as well as a virtual workshop with leading experts in food safety, nutrition, and related fields, including potential users. 

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