FAO completes food safety project in Lebanon despite logistical issues

An FAO undertaking has helped create a platform to enhance meals security in Lebanon however there stay points to handle.

The Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations (FAO) supported the Ministry of Agriculture to strengthen its function in meals security within the nation.

Meals security in Lebanon represents a significant concern for policymakers and shoppers. Research by varied analysis institutes and authorities businesses have reported excessive contamination ranges in a number of merchandise.

In 2016, the Lebanese Parliament endorsed a meals security legislation to enhance circumstances and create a Lebanese Meals Security Fee (LFSC). Nonetheless, implementation decrees, procedures and techniques weren’t established to make it efficient.

The FAO undertaking helped the Ministry of Agriculture design and arrange a prototype for a meals contamination monitoring system (FCMS). It strengthened the capability of the company in laboratory evaluation, infrastructure and educated employees to implement the monitoring program.

It’s hoped such a system would generate data on the present state of affairs and tendencies on the prevalence and unfold of pathogens and different contaminants within the meals provide chain. It may present proof for coverage and planning and information to assist the authorities take acceptable actions.

Mission challenges
The Ministry of Agriculture’s Technique 2020-2025 goals to reinforce the standard and security of agricultural and meals merchandise. It notes that regardless of efforts to enhance meals security on the nationwide degree, there are nonetheless many factors of weak point that negatively have an effect on meals management techniques.

The 30-month FAO undertaking, which started in late 2017, was slowed by financial, social and political unrest. In late 2019, efforts have been paused as samples of meals merchandise wanted for evaluation to develop the FCMS couldn’t be collected due to roadblocks throughout Lebanon.

A quantitative danger evaluation of microbial and chemical hazards helped estimate the chance related to consumption of meals merchandise together with dairy, meat, fruit and veggies.

A report in December 2019 lined contaminant prevalence within the varied merchandise and dietary dangers associated to the publicity of Lebanese shoppers. Outcomes have been introduced and mentioned in a workshop attended by 51 stakeholders. Members chosen pesticide residues and aflatoxins to be monitored in home apples and in-shell roasted pistachios. Nonetheless, there was a three-month delay to approve the 2 chosen commodities to be examined.

A gathering in December 2021 included displays on undertaking outcomes and discussions concerning the meals contamination monitoring system. In February 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture mentioned it was creating the system.

An efficient FCMS is predicted to result in extra accountable manufacturing and a big discount in meals loss. It’s hoped the well being of shoppers will probably be protected and meals safety will improve via the supply of secure meals.

Serving to girls in rural areas
In the meantime, one other undertaking involving FAO helps elevate consciousness of the function girls play within the agri-food sector within the nation.

About 300 contributors attended on-line coaching classes organized by FAO Lebanon on matters equivalent to meals high quality management, meals processing, meals security, packaging, and labeling and safeguarding human well being.

Funded by the federal government of Canada, the coaching happened in July to enhance contributors’ capability to provide higher and safer meals in a extra sustainable means.

Since 2019, the undertaking has contributed to constructing the capacities of 32 facilitators and co-facilitators; and 255 girls teams equivalent to cooperatives, associations, and casual teams.

General, 150 girls’s teams will obtain money or in-kind grants that can allow them to acquire gear and different assist to maneuver ahead within the manufacturing and advertising and marketing of their merchandise.

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