Lebanon Businessnews News

Food Safety Center launched
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The Federation of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture announced, today, that the Food Safety Center will be officially opened January 15 .

The Center will be dedicated to training employees in the food industry, especially in small and medium enterprises, in food safety basics.

Mohammad Choucair, Chairman of the Federation, said: “The Center will support the national food institutions for free, to be able to put out products that comply with the highest international standards.” He said that the Center will organize workshops and specialized training programs to implement food standards.

The training sessions will be conducted in all the Chambers to help institutions in all regions to conduct these sessions. The Union of Chambers will cooperate with the Union of Mount Lebanon traders and the Jounieh municipality to organize training sessions in the municipality building.

Charles Arbid, Chairman of the Lebanese Franchise Association (LFA), said: “Trainers from GWR and Boecker consultancies will provide training on basic food safety regulations, free of charge in the initial stage.” The Union of Tourism Syndicates, the Syndicate of Restaurants, and LFA will finance these trainings in subsequent stages.

The Food Safety Center was established in cooperation with the Union of Tourism Syndicates, LFA and the Syndicate of Restaurants. Arbid said: “This Center has been established due to the need to inform supermarkets, butcher shops, slaughterhouses, and food institutions about the basic norms they should abide by.”

The initial stage of the Center will begin with teaching internationally accepted basic standards, an eight-hour course, after which attendees will receive certificates of completion. The second level will offer more specialized applicable principles that are required by all food sector employees.

The Center will provide all training requirements according to scientific curricula. Trainees will take an exam at the end of the session to gain a certificate.

The decision to establish the Center was taken by a consensus of economic bodies including the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, the ministers of Public Health, Economy and Trade, Industry, and Environment.

Minister of Industry, Hussein Al Hajj Hassan, said: “Around $400 million of food industries are exported annually, the returned products are less than one percent.” He said that the products are returned for reasons related to labeling and not due to industrial corruption.

Hajj Hassan said all food industry factories will have to train their employees in this Center, or they will not receive an industrial license, and will be prohibited from working in the food industry.

Minister of Public Health, Wael Abou Faour, said: “This Center will facilitate the institutions’ works and reduce the percentage of risk.” He said that the ministry will continue supervising food institutions and announcing violating companies.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Dec 17, 2014
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