CAIRO, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in cooperation with the Egyptian government have concluded a series of training workshops to develop a risk-based imported food control system for Egypt, FAO reported in statement on Tuesday.
With the participation of 30 experts from Egypt's National Food Safety Authority (NFSA), the training programs focused on implementing the project on "Enhancement of Egypt's Food Trade Capacities through an Improved Control System," to strengthen Egypt's food control system to ensure food safety.
"Developing a more effective risk-based imported food control system is essential to ensure that Egyptians have ready and sustained access to safe and nutritious food, and to protect consumer's health," the statement said.
Given the importance of facilitating trade of food products into Egypt, the workshops also focused on developing competency and resources to enhance knowledge and application of principles and practices for risk-based imported food control system.
"Food safety and food control are long-standing areas of work for FAO that has developed guidelines and manuals to strengthen national food control systems as well as approaches to support continuous improvement at the national level," said Nasredin Hag Alamin, FAO's representative in Egypt.
"Food safety in Egypt requires integration between the public and private sectors, as well as cooperation between all partners to benefit from available scientific and practical academic experiences represented in universities, research centers and others along with the industrial and production sector," he added.
He explained "this will positively affect the health and safety of consumers, and facilitate the movement of food exchange between Egypt and the world."
Unfortunately, Egypt has a low ranking in terms of entry and exit of food shipments at the global level, he added.
Therefore, there was a desire to improve Egypt's ranking to reach a level close to the professional countries in terms of dealing with exports and imports, he noted.
"Accordingly, we have cooperated with FAO, which relies on international standards in this field," said Hussein Mansour, NFSA president.
"More than 30 inspectors from the Food Safety Authority participated in this series of workshops, in order to deal with these procedures," Mansour said.
It is intended to start organizing a number of other workshops to train the ones responsible on controlling the food imports and exports while relying on technology in the exchange of information and documents to achieve our goal, namely securing exports and imports from shipments, which will guarantee consumer protection, whether in Egypt or abroad within only two days, he added.
"The aim of the workshops is to know the views of all national authorities regarding activities of the imported food control system in Egypt," he added.