The Government of Egypt recently established an independent National Food Safety Authority (NFSA) as an autonomous regulatory body directly under the Prime Minster and the Cabinet. The activities of this regulatory body will be critical in ensuring that food safety regulations are enforced. It will also play a key role in facilitating trade of food products of both animal and plant origin in domestic and international markets. As such, one of the critical requirements for NFSA is to have qualified, trained staff to carry out its task with due diligence and professionalism. One area where NFSA is left wanting is the inspection service and the dearth of qualified food safety inspectors.
The NFSA has thus arranged for a capacity building initiative for 35 food inspectors. The UNIDO-SAFE food safety project was asked to help with enhancement of competencies of the food inspection system in Egypt. This includes training of the pool of inspectors who would then become the core team of inspectors within NFSA to carry out the complicated and often arduous task of inspecting food business operators to ensure compliance to established food safety protocols.
The training was carried out by international expert Christine Ellen Testa, a food safety expert from the US, who works with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as well as the National Environmental Health in Washington DC. The three-day training included sessions on Food Safety Audit, The Code of Conduct and ServSafe Food Safety training course.
The aim is that these 35 food safety inspectors will be the nucleus of the inspection system to be develop under NFSA and will act as master trainers for new inspectors.
31 January 2018