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Sri Lanka boosts food safety management through APO TES project

19 Sep 2023

The National Productivity Secretariat (NPS) in collaboration with the APO Secretariat organized a Technical Expert Services (TES) project on Training of Trainers on Food Safety Management for Sri Lanka, 21–25 August. The five-day project focused on increasing the awareness of practitioners and experts in the country on food safety management and developing trainers in this field. It was attended by 48 participants, including representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Industrial Technology Institute, NPS, certification bodies, SMEs, and various food-related enterprises. University students from the Faculty of Food Science & Technology also attended.

Sri Lanka’s food value chains capitalize on its diverse ecological regions and abundant biodiversity, allowing for the cultivation of a wide range of nutritious crops, including fruit, vegetables, cereals, and rice. However, growing concerns about health and expanding export opportunities to regions with stringent food safety standards such as the EU, Middle East, USA, and others have underscored the necessity for Sri Lanka to enhance its food safety awareness and management capabilities.

The training was facilitated by one resource person from Malaysia and two from Sri Lanka, who provided insights into the practical aspects of food safety, food safety management systems (FSMS), and international and national food safety standards. Topics covered related to food value chains, applicable food safety statutory and regulatory requirements and standards for Sri Lanka, advanced FSMS, risk-based thinking in FSMS, hazard control and implementation, and the status of food-sector SMEs in Sri Lanka. The project included discussions on good practices in food safety and prerequisite programs; FSMS implementation in SMEs; and challenges, proposed solutions, and best practices in FSMS, including APO success stories. Group exercises were conducted on risk analysis assessment, key actions in implementing FSMS for SMEs, and application areas for digitalization in FSMS.

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