Lebanon Businessnews News

Economic bodies to launch Food Safety Academy
International quality standards to be applied
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A Food Safety Academy will be established by next month, in the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture in Beirut and Mount Lebanon (CCIABML). It will be dedicated to training food institutions’ employees, especially in small and medium enterprises, as to the basics of food safety.

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

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

Nabil Fahed, Vice Chairman of CCIABML, said: “People are not aware of the guidelines they are supposed to follow and don’t have in-house labs to test their products. It would be good to teach food institutions the necessary food safety requirements.”

The initial stage of the academy will begin with teaching international basic standards, an eight-hour course, after which attendees will receive certificates of completions. “In later steps the academy will provide more developed courses,” he said.

The decision to establish the academy was taken by a consensus of economic bodies including the CCIABML, the ministers of Public Health, Economy and Trade, Industry, and Environment.

The private sector has agreed to set a code of ethics to be implemented by all employees working in the food sector. Arbid said that they are in the process of writing these codes.

They will work with the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) to provide long term financing at low interest rates, to facilitate investment in food safety requirements and to fund developed training programs.

The private sector called on the Cabinet and political parties to enact the food safety law, as the definitive reference that provides food quality standards, restrictions and requirements. The proposal also requested the launch of a comprehensive national program to treat city water, and bottled water, as it is a necessary component of providing safe food. In addition, the proposal by the private sector called for setting up a new traceability mechanism for tracking products, as well as banning the entry of smuggled foods. Finally, the private sector’s proposal requested the establishment of a committee to coordinate between the concerned ministries and the economic bodies to continue food safety procedures.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Nov 24, 2014
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