Jun 30, 2009, 7:13 AM
national training workshop on the food safety management system Monday commenced
at The Gambia Standards Bureau in Fajara.
The training course was aimed at achieving a proper implementation of food safety management system.
It was organised by The Gambia Standards Bureau supported by the West Africa Quality System Programme, for countries in the programme to build their capacities in the implementation of quality, environment, health and food safety management systems.
Speaking at the official opening of the workshop, Bia Dodou Jallow, acting director general The Gambia Standards Bureau, told participants at the workshop to make good use of the workshop.
“The trainer has given us very important information about this training, saying food safety is a very important issue in all countries around the world, but I think for The Gambia it is very important.”
He said nowadays at some of the hospitals there are lots of issues of health problems, which can be directly related to food safety.
Acting director Jallow said the workshop is important as it will capacitate individuals who would be able to support the food enterprises in the country.
He added that people producing, processing and manufacturing food products in the country “should follow certain practices that will help us to get food in this country that is safe”.
He said capacity is, however, lacking in the area of monitoring the food safety situation of the country, which necessitated the training on such an issue.
“We know that capacity, in terms of personnel who will be able to guide enterprises and help them to produce safe food, is a bit lacking in the country.
“But with this training, you would see that a reasonable pool of individuals will come out and will be able to support enterprises in food safety issues.”
He said they work hard to ensure that a high food safety standard is maintained in the country in line with international standards, the ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management System.
“They are the best tools that you can use to ensure food safety,” he said.
Beatrice Oiyo, expert and trainer from Kenya, in her remarks, said food safety issues are very pertinent in Africa.
“I came from Kenya, and Kenya is very similar to The Gambia in the sense that we have the same challenges in ensuring that our food is safe. In The Gambia, it is very important we look at how we should make our food safe.”