Forum To Shine A Light On Food Safety

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A new conference to be held in Phnom Penh next month aims to raise public awareness on food safety and raise quality standards across every stage of the food supply chain.

Local women work at a farm. KT/Mom Sophon

The Food Safety Forum, which will be held this year for the first time, also aims to aid the drafting of effective regulation in the sector.

“The event seeks to make our food safer for consumption, starting at the farm and ending at the table,” said Ra Thorn, program coordinator of the agricultural development and commercialisation department at the Mekong Institute, one of the event’s organisers.

“The theme for this year is ‘Think Food Safety, Think Standards’,” he said, adding that four events will be held to promote a culture of food safety in Cambodia.

Mr Thorn said more than 300 participants are expected to join the forum. He said that all stakeholders in the food industry would benefit from partaking, including government agencies, farmers, suppliers, food handlers, food-processing companies, wholesalers, retailers, consumers, as well as SMEs associations and the media.

He explained that along the food supply chain there are many opportunities in which food may be contaminated.

“For this reason, it is crucial to ensure the quality and safety of food along the way, from the moment it leaves the farm to when it reaches the consumer.

“To guarantee food safety, producers and food handlers must follow the appropriate legislation and standards at every stage of the food supply chain,” Mr Thorn added.

Tuy Sokneng, food safety and quality assurance manager at Leang Leng Enterprises, told Khmer Times that he will join the forum to learn more about food safety and standards and regulation in the industry.

“We hope to learn from other SMEs, who will be sharing their experience and knowledge. We will also learn more about new laws and standards in the sector,” Mr Sokneng said.

“Unfortunately, this kind of events are necessary because awareness of food safety is still very limited in Cambodia,” he added.

The first Food Safety Forum will be held in Phnom Penh’s Institute of Technology of Cambodia on November 6-8.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.

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