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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

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Publication | 2024

Bridging food systems and One Health


  • Literature related to One Health, Food Systems, and zoonoses in combination are extremely scarce.
  • A lack of literature persists on using the Food Systems approach to manage zoonoses.
  • The One Health approach can address zoonoses through guided decision-making or data modelling.
  • Incorporating all One Health domains is crucial for effective implementation.
  • Experts advocate for the integration of the One Health and Food System approach to manage zoonoses.


Food Systems and One Health are two approaches increasingly known for the holistic perspective they bring when addressing the issues that concern them: food and health.

This systematic literature review aims to explore the evidence for using these approaches in a concerted manner to better manage zoonoses. By zoonoses management, we refer to improving the ability to address current zoonoses as well as preventing future ones. A total of 98 scientific articles were screened, of which 29 were considered eligible due to their focus on operationalizing each approach to help address zoonoses, as well as a combination of the two.

Most articles implement One Health to prevent zoonoses by guiding stakeholders in concerted and participatory decision-making processes. However, the One Health approach can also be adopted via data modelling. Several articles refer to the monitoring and evaluation process of One Health initiatives to prevent zoonoses and discuss best practices to successfully implement the approach. Contrastingly, only three studies adopt a Food System approach to manage zoonoses, despite the profound connections existing between our food systems and the emergence of zoonotic risks.

We conclude that there is a lack of integration between the One Health and Food System approaches to manage zoonoses. We also show that experts call for integration, so that not only human, animal, plant, and environmental health are considered, but also the socio-economic trade-offs when monitoring and developing strategies to manage zoonoses. This can be reversed, enabling zoonotic risks to be addressed when planning for our food systems of tomorrow.