Continuing its efforts to help strengthen the food safety market surveillance capacity and regional cooperation of Mekong countries, Mekong Institute (MI) launched its five-day regional training program on “Food Safety Market Surveillance in the Food Chain” on February 6, 2023 at the MI Headquarters in Khon Kaen, Thailand.
Supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme, the course aims to enhance the understanding of food safety authorities on market surveillance systems for a more effective assessment and monitoring of the national food control system.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Maria Theresa S. Medialdia, the Director of MI’s Agricultural Development and Commercialization Department, talked about the growing interest in safer food due to increasing cases of foodborne illnesses. She explained that the report of the World Health Organization included Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam (CLV) as countries with a high rate of foodborne disease deaths from aflatoxin. She encouraged the participants to learn and relearn from the course and for them to apply the knowledge and skills they will acquire to become food safety champions in their countries.
The training program will deliver six (6) modules to 25 government officials involved in food surveillance and food inspection, as well as academics from CLV. Several food safety experts and practitioners from Mahidol University and the Ministry of Public Health in Thailand were invited to serve as resource persons for the course.
As part of the modules, the participants will have an opportunity to visit the biggest fruit and vegetable wholesale market, as well as a local fresh market, in Khon Kaen to learn about the market surveillance plan and implementation at the local and provincial levels.
At the end of the training program, participants will present an action plan for better facilitation of the domestic and international agri-food trade through effective food safety market surveillance and response.
This food safety course is the second training program in 2023 under the project “Promoting Safe Food for Everyone” (PROSAFE). Aiming to promote strengthened collaboration among the public, private, and academic sectors, PROSAFE seeks to build regional and local expertise on food safety through capacity building and post-training outreach activities in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam.