Mekong Institute (MI), with financial support from the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP), organized an on-site Regional Training Program on “Food Hygiene and Sanitation for Food Handlers” from July 11-15, 2022 at the Mekong Institute, Khon Kaen, Thailand.
Twenty-three government and private sector representatives from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV) joined the training program and were exposed to the theoretical and practical concepts of food safety, food hazards, proper food handling, and hygiene requirements.
During her welcome and opening remarks, Ms. Maria Theresa Medialdia, Director of Agricultural Development and Commercialization Department, stressed that the training course will make food operators from CLMV more competitive in the market by improving their food handling practices. She added that “improved practices will reduce postharvest damage, maintain product quality, promote hygiene and safety of food products available in the market, and create more trust in CLMV’s food supply chain resulting in increases in revenue.”
Best practices in Thailand will be shared with the participants, including the country’s prevailing legislation and systems of controlling food safety hazards and the guidelines for applying proper food storage and preparation protocols, pest control, personal hygiene, and sanitation of premises. Participants were also exposed to food business operators at Khon Kaen University Student Complex and Thailand Dairy Farming Promotion Organization which has food hygiene certification and food safety assurance systems in place, so participants can directly learn and observe the current practices of Thai food handlers in implementing GHP and HACCP.
The training also provided participants with a platform to network and exchange best practices to institutionalize a food safety culture in their respective countries.
This training course is one of the PROSAFE regional training programs in 2022. PROSAFE stands for Promoting Safe Food for Everyone, a project which aims to strengthen food safety capabilities of agri-food supply chain stakeholders in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Supported by NZAP, its goal is to promote food safety through a coordinated approach to knowledge and skills development. Apart from addressing country-identified training needs, the project also builds strong partnerships and collaboration between the public and the private sector.