Promoting Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) in the region, Mekong Institute (MI) launched the Regional Training Programme on Food Safety Management Tools for Cottage and Small Food Businesses on March 13, 2023 at the MI Training Centre in Khon Kaen, Thailand.
The five-day course is designed to capacitate government officials and food businesses in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam on GMP by introducing the basic principles of food safety, hygiene and sanitation, and discussing food safety hazards and strategies to adequately control them.
Highlighting the importance of a food safety culture within an organization, Ms. Maria Theresa S. Medialdia, Director of the Agricultural Development and Commercialization Department of MI, focused her opening remarks on encouraging the food businesses to increase accountability in producing high-quality and safe food not only for the benefit of local consumers but also for strengthened tourism opportunities. She added that “dealing with the food chain always comes with risks and potential safety concerns, hence, collaboration among relevant actors in the supply chain is key to ensuring food safety and sustainable food systems in the Mekong region.”
Attended by 28 participants, the training program consists of 14 sessions and will run until March 17, 2023. Included in the program is a visit to a food processing business in Khon Kaen with a GMP in place, to provide participants with a better understanding of the issues and challenges that go with maintaining a food safety management system, especially in setting up systematic preventive controls to address potential hazards. During the visit, participants will have a chance to learn best practices of the company in designing, implementing, monitoring and reviewing an effective control system.
Supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme, the course is being held under the project Promoting Safe Food for Everyone or PROSAFE, a project which promotes safe food culture in the region through a coordinated approach in knowledge and skills development.