By Dr. Giannis Stoitsis
With the majority of countries across the globe affected by the COVID-19, quality assurance and food safety professionals are working hard to ensure continuity of the global supply chain. Today’s most important food producing and exporting countries have been affected by COVID-19 — with cases exponentially increasing and thus causing maximum amounts of damage.
The current landscape
While there’s a large demand by consumers for shelf stable food products — such as macaroni, flour and rice, as well as for fruits and vegetables with high sources of vitamin C, there are restrictions limiting production and causing delays in the transportation. Food production is highly affected as many plants are working in a safe mode and there are fewer workers harvesting fruits and vegetables in the primary sector. Additionally, transportation of food products is facing several problems including delays, a lack of space on airplanes and increased prices. These issues are creating food safety challenges across the industry.
Such delays may result in extended storage, which in turn could affect the quality and safety of products