A senior American food safety official has called on governments to harmonise food safety standards throughout the world.

Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods, US Food and Drug Administration, speaking at the 4th China International Food Safety and Quality Conference and Expo in Shanghai, highlighted the need for greater collaboration between nations to ensure food is as safe as possible.

"Globalisation has presented its own food safety challenges, which must be addressed. "These stem from the sheer volume of foods traded, the amazing diversity of products sent from country to country, and the long distances food travels", he said.

"We must work together in the context of the global food safety system to help ensure the safety of foods produced in other countries."

Taylor also spoke of the need for a "farm-to-table" prevention strategy for food safety that incorporates everyone in the supply chain, from growers to processors to shipping companies, overseen by governments.

He added: "The importance of information exchange and collaboration on food safety among all participants in the global food system cannot be overstated. With it, we will succeed. Without it, we will fail."