Lebanese expatriate trains inspectors on food safety measures
While the entire country was worried about food expiry dates after the numerous scandals, Professor Fadi Aramouni, the Lebanese food safety expert reassured that the expiration date is put in the first place for food quality and food safety. “Other factors are much more important, such as proper cooling, proper heating and cross contamination” he said.
Dr. Aramouni, the expatriate expert was brought in by the UNDP TOKTEN project to train 180 inspectors from the Ministries of Economy and Trade, Industry, Health, Agriculture and Tourism, in addition to the Lebanese Agriculture Research Institute
The trained inspectors benefited a lot from the training and considered it crucial to their working experience. “We learned new standards and guidelines from a different perspective” said Pascale Bou Gharios, inspector from the Ministry of Economy and Trade, adding that “from now on we can start applying what we learned on the biological, physical and chemical hazards, on inspections, investigation and compliance guidelines. “
- “We learned new standards and guidelines from a different perspective” said Pascale Bou Gharios, inspector from the Ministry of Economy and Trade.
- The TOKTEN project aims at reinforcing Government efforts to strengthen technical capacities in key sectors and institutions.
The trainees were very enthusiastic about the training and absorbed quickly all the new information, noted Dr. Aramouni. “I was very impressed by the knowledge, expertise and professionalism of the Lebanese food safety inspectors with whom I have shared prolonged discussions on prevention and mitigation”.
Based on the rising need for training of inspectors and in response to the food safety scandals that recently plagues the Lebanese economy, the UNDP “Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals” project (TOKTEN) organized this training in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Trade and in coordination with the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform (OMSAR).
The Ministry of Economy and Trade, through the Consumer Protection Directorate is responsible to protect the safety and health of the consumer according to the consumer protection Law num. 659 issued in 2005. The inspectors verify that all goods especially food stuff are safe and wholesome through a market surveillance program where they visit frequently all shops, supermarkets, groceries, and assess their compliance with regulations and standards.
Based on continual improvement concept, the Directorate seeks to conduct ongoing training for the inspectors as a strategically capacity building initiative and skills improvement in order to enhance the overall outcomes. Working with international organization like UNDP is one of the practical trail to achieve these objectives by receiving experts for skills improvements training missions.
The TOKTEN project aims at reinforcing Government efforts to strengthen technical capacities in key sectors and institutions, and to establish a mechanism whereby the country can tap into the skills base of its expatriate nationals at the same time that expatriate nationals are afforded the opportunity to contribute at a relatively modest cost.