Tools for monitoring the performance of food safety systems can guide countries’ investments on
food safety. Available tools, mostly developed in high-income countries, are data-demanding and
unsuitable to developing economies. We developed, tested and validated a tool for the assessment
of food safety system performance based on secondary data.
Materials and methods
Conceptualization of the Food Safety System Performance Tool (FSSPT) was based on revision of
existing tools and expert consultations to identify relevant indicators. Nine indicators were included
in the tool (Figure 1). Secondary data were obtained for African countries, and countries were
ranked. The scale and its consistency tool were evaluated using Cronbach’s alpha and an Item
Response Theory (IRT) model was fitted to explore the discriminatory ability of the scale. As a form
of validation, we explored the correlation between the ranking generated by the FSSPT, the African
Food Safety Index (AFSI) and Human Development Index (HDI) for African countries.
Cronbach’s alpha was high for the overall scale (0.73). The final IRT model contained a reduced set
of four indicators, with self-reporting on food safety and chemical events being the items with the
highest discrimination. The FSSPT scale did not correlate with AFSI and showed moderate
correlation with HDI.
Despite the reduced set of indicators working well as a scale, the FSSPT seems to be measuring a
more general country development trait rather than food safety. More food safety-specific indicators
should be included in the scale.
Alonso, S., Oliveira, A.R.S., Mader, R., Iulietto, M.F., Dohoo, I., Thinh Nguyen, Hung Nguyen-Viet and Grace, D. 2022. Development and validation of a food safety system performance tool for African countries. Oral presentation at the 16th International Symposium of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, Halifax, Canada, 8 August 2022. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.