What we do

Consumers

safefood places the consumer at the centre of its marketing and communications activities when communicating messages of food safety, food hygiene and nutrition on the island of Ireland.

safefood’s messages are based upon solid scientific data and consumer research to assess the needs of the population on the island of Ireland. These messages are delivered through traditional and new media outlets, consumer and stakeholder events, sponsorship, advertising, direct marketing, public relations and communication with industry and stakeholders.

We regularly carry out consumer research to determine issues that are of importance to the consumer. These research findings are communicated with consumers and recommendations are made arising from these findings.

Through our public awareness and educational campaigns, we aim to educate consumers about the importance of hand washing, the correct storage, preparation and cooking of food, consumer rights in relation to food hygiene and safety, food supply chains, and the importance of healthy eating.

Research

Food safety policies are underpinned by comprehensive access to current, accurate, high-quality scientific information, and to adequate means for the analysis and interpretation of such data.

In order to address gaps in scientific knowledge related to food safety and to facilitate timely decision-making on emerging issues, safefood aims to undertake appropriate research and knowledge gathering. 

The safefood research office is supported by the Scientific Advisory Committee, which brings together experienced experts from food safety constituent groups who can advise on key food safety concerns.

The research office aims to commission research to address these concerns. The research office is responsible for the commissioning, monitoring and dissemination of research information.

Nutrition

safefood has a legislative role in "providing food safety advice and guidance, including advice on nutritional aspects of various foods". It requires safefood to participate actively in the field of nutrition.

Nutrition related issues in particular obesity are among the key public health threats facing all developed countries. This is a considerable challenge facing society across the island of Ireland and a multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary approach is required. Given safefood’s all-island remit, it is uniquely placed to make a valuable contribution in tackling obesity and other nutrition related issues on an all-island basis.

Over the past three years safefood has developed key partnerships and collaborations with nutrition stakeholders on the island of Ireland. safefood will continue to adopt a complementary and collaborative approach in the area.

There are three strands to safefood’s nutritional work:

  • Cooperation and collaboration on the island of Ireland
  • Communicating to influence
  • Building the evidence base

Food Safety

The principal focus of safefood’s food safety programmes is to inform and empower individuals with the knowledge and incentive to positively influence food safety behaviour. The provision of an adequate and robust evidence-base to guide communications is of the utmost importance and safefood uses the best scientific evidence available to produce clear, realistic, appropriate and independent consumer advice.

In doing so, safefood targets relevant knowledge-gaps in prioritising its research through a structured programme of horizon-scanning (to interpret and identify emerging issues in food safety), as well as addressing consumer food science concerns. In its unique north/south position, safefood promotes scientific cooperation and linkages with laboratories and other stakeholders to strengthen the integrity of the food chain through initiatives including the safefood Knowledge Networks.

We play a pivotal role in connecting food safety professionals and enabling the sharing of knowledge and expertise.

Education

With the rise in foodborne disease and the changes in our food supply chain, it is important that people are educated on the importance of food safety and food hygiene.

safefood recognises that teachers play a vital role in developing the habits of young people. We have developed two popular primary school resources: The Hands of Doom, and Tastebuds; and two successful projects for post primary: How they measure up: Decipering Food Labelling and the widely used Transition Year project safefood for Life.

safefood continues to work to develop new tools and resources for different age groups and classes across the island of Ireland as well as regularly updating existing resources.

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