Five-day workshop focuses on the quality and safety of food

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, July 13, 2017

Food and safety inspectors from the Ministry of Public Health and Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) are the beneficiaries of a five-day high-risk food inspection and sampling, and food based surveillance workshop. The workshop, which began at the Hermanston Lodge on Monday, is a collaborative effort between Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) and the Ministries of Public Health and Agriculture.

Minister within Ministry of Public Health Dr. Karen Cummings.

Delivering remarks to the participants on Wednesday, Minister within Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings stressed the need to strengthen food safety and quality control system, if the country is to ensure the good health of its citizens.

She noted that, “Globally food safety has become an international issue where countries around the world are confronted as the demand for food increases.”

The Minister pointed out that, “the increase demand for food increasingly causes farmers and food producers to seek alternative ways to grow food more quickly to meet market demands.”

She noted that while the consumer has benefitted in many ways from this, “mass production, distribution and

Participants attending the High-Risk Food Inspection and Sampling and Food Based Surveillance workshop.

importation of food,” that these agriculture and supply chain gains are “not without significant cost.”

Dr. Cummings noted for instance that, this mass importation of produce into Guyana can introduce new pathogens to which the population is susceptible. The storage and handling of these food supply also bring other challenges in maintaining food safety, the Minister said. “…It is therefore imperative that we find cost effective ways to monitor food contamination and establish effective surveillance of food borne diseases,” She said.

She lauded the timeliness of the workshop and the other FAO developments, including the creation of a risk based food inspection manual, to the effort of improving the capacity of countries to establish and implement appropriate food safety and quality control system.

GLDA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nigel Cumberbatch expressed his gratitude towards those who participated in the workshop and hoped that they are able to use the information given to strengthen food security.

 

By: Neola Damon

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