The importance of Food Safety for protecting and improving the health of the population of Qatar was regarded as a high priority strategic issue and incorporated into the QNFSP Master Plan for review and redesign. Food Safety is a scientific discipline which encompasses all aspects of the food supply chain from farm inputs to production, processing, handling, preparation, storage and all aspects of distribution (wholesalers, retailers) and finally to the consumer in ways which prevents foodborne illness.
In the context of an anticipated major increase in food production within Qatar, one of the objectives of the QNFSP strategy is to design a world class system which adopts an integrated ‘farm to table’ approach to Food Safety management. This will be achieved through the restructuring and establishment of a Food Safety Agency.
The components of such a system would include:
- A robust policy and legislative framework
- A well coordinated and integrated Food Safety management system
- A harmonized and reliable inspection and certification system for food premises which can be effectively implemented in all municipalities
- Modern laboratory diagnostic capabilities for all agents such as pathogens, chemicals, and toxins which can cause food borne illnesses.
- Effective monitoring and surveillance systems for detection of food borne pathogens and other agents which can cause food borne illnesses
- Rapid response capabilities when food borne illnesses are detected
- Technical capacities to undertake risk analysis to minimize the likelihood of occurrence of food borne illnesses
- Capacities for setting technical and management standards for all parts of the food chain – ‘farm to table’
- Adoption of quality assurance systems for food premises
- Effective training programmes for food handlers, food inspectors and operators of food premises and food processing plants
- Well designed public awareness programmes on Food Safety and goodnutrition.
The QNFSP has conducted an audit of the current status of the Food Safety systems in Qatar and identified areas for strengthening capacities.
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