Mekong Institute (MI) and Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) convened 64 government and private sector representatives from 30 countries as part of a campaign to strengthen food safety culture in Asia, Central and South America, Africa, and the Caribbean.
From August 16 to 27, participants will be exposed to theoretical, legal, and practical concepts on food safety hazards, proper food handling, and hygiene requirements, so they may better guide food business operators in their countries.
“The impacts of institutionalizing food safety systems and practices go beyond public health,” Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, MI Executive Director, said, explaining that increased compliance with food hygiene and sanitation standards among food business establishments will lead to improved services and products, which can boost consumer trust and revenue, resulting to a more active economy.
A unique feature of the online training is a session on Thailand’s best practices, where experts will present the country’s prevailing legislation and systems on controlling food safety hazards, as well as guidelines to help owners and employees of restaurants, cafeterias, and other food service facilities to apply the proper protocol in food storage and preparation, pest control, personal hygiene, and sanitation of premises.
Dr. Hataichanok Siriwadhanakul, TICA Director of Human Resources Development Cooperation Division, enjoined participants to also share their country’s experiences for collaborative learning, stating that the exchange will deepen understanding and appreciation of common efforts.
“By working together, we can inspire more people to take action on keeping food safe,” she said, encouraging participants to pass on the knowledge they will gain from the training to institutionalize the practice of food safety. She also emphasized that TICA is committed to continue providing platforms where Thailand’s experiences and good practices can be shared with other countries.
This is the first joint TICA and MI online training on food hygiene and sanitation. MI, who has been a partner of TICA since 1998 in promoting capacity development in the Greater Mekong Subregion, was tapped for its recognized work on strengthening food safety systems in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam under the PROSAFE project.