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Looking At Edible Insects From A Food Safety Perspective

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ( has published its latest report on the edible insect sector: ‘Looking at edible insects from a food safety perspective. Challenges and opportunities for the sector ‘.

The subject of edible insects inherently encompasses a vast array of topics, from insect ecology to various rearing practices and processing methods. But the primary objective of this publication is to provide an overview of the potential food safety issues associated with the production and consumption of insects.


FAO Report cover edible insects safety
FAO Report cover: Looking at edible insects from a food safety perspective

The insect consumption by humans or entomophagy has been traditionally practiced in various countries over generations. It represents a common dietary component of various animal species (birds, fish, mammals), farming of insects for human food and animal feed is relatively recent.

Production of this ‘mini-livestock’ brings with it several potential benefits and challenges. The objective of this report is to provide the reader with an overview of the various food safety issues that could be associated with edible insects.

The document also discusses regulatory frameworks that govern production, trade and consumption of insects in various regions. The document ends with elucidating some other major challenges, such as consumer acceptance and scaling up production, that the edible insect industry would need to overcome in order to have a more global reach.

In addition, the report highlights some other challenges, such as research gaps and scaling up production, that the insect sector will need to overcome if it is to have a more global reach.

The intended audiences for this publication are food safety professionals, policymakers, researchers, insect producers, as well as consumers.

Click here to download the full report.