(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The ongoing Food Safety Week has affirmed the need to have stricter control over the market in the interest of public health.
H E Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Mohammed al Shuhi, Minister of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, during the course of the Food Safety Week programmes being held at Al Bustan Palace a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, said that control over food products in the market has been increased in the light of rapidly growing food industry and also fraudulent methods.
''Therefore, efforts have been intensified aiming at elevating the safety and quality of food, preserving health and safety of individuals and ensuring circulation of safe food through intensified control and inspection programmes, following up on health regulations and statutes, and taking punitive measures against violators,'' H E Shuhi said.
H E Shuhi said that the Food Safety Week, organised by the ministry in cooperation with a number of other governmental bodies, is proof of how the ministry has translated its efforts into reality by implementing a number of activities, events and programmes during the week.
He said that inspections carried out in 2013 by the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources (MRMWR) and the municipalities affiliated to it resulted in disposal of 3,187 tonnes of foodstuff deemed unfit for human consumption and destruction of 327,089 food items.
Recommendations of the Food Safety Conference
Reviewing and standardising legislation, laws and statutes related to safety and quality of imported food and food produced locally.
Initiate procedures to establish a food safety and quality centre.
Establishing a database of local and imported food products.
Evaluate and develop systems to detect diseases spread through contaminated food.
Formulating an awareness plan for manufacturers, officials and consumers about laws, and food safety and quality requirements.
Installing necessary equipment and devices in laboratories to raise their efficiency and encouraging investment in this field.
Training national cadres specialised in the field of food safety.
Adopting a programme to support SMEs in the food sector.
Encouraging and supporting research in the field.
Establishing and activating a national programme for reducing the use of pesticides.