Improve the status of Lebanese food safety

UNDP-Lebanon Food safety inspection traning TOKTEN-Minstry of Economy and Trade

As part of its continuing efforts to improve the status of the Lebanese food processing industries, the ministry of Industry has teamed up with the UNDP/TOKTEN program to bring in an expatriate food safety expert to provide training and advice on inspection guidelines. This is the second mission funded by TOKTEN in its support of food safety programs in Lebanon.
Dr. Fadi Michel Aramouni, Professor of Food Science at Kansas State University for 25 years, is an advisor for the food processing sector in Kansas, USA.
“I think one of the things that need to be done is to establish the scope of work and the assessment of the problem to know what we are dealing with. So first we need to come with the data, how many people suffered from food poisoning, how many died and what are the most common viruses. I visited processing plants, and they did a good job in food safety. I can only assess the variety of plants I’ve seen, some are good, some need to increase the level of hygiene, but I did not see any reason to cause mass illnesses. I’ve seen plants in the US and all over the world and the here are not any inferior”. Said Dr. Fadi Aramouni.
During the past 2 weeks assignment, Dr. Aramouni visited meat slaughter and processing plants, and baked goods and sweets factories, to conduct inspections and collect samples for analysis. These data will be used to help draft inspection guidelines to share with other government agencies and food processing associations prior to enforcement.
“In here we have to concentrate on the farm level on the how to use of fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics, we need to regulate and control that. In the serving and retail, we need to have a lot of control, from time and temperature control, to meat handling for example, we need to have a lot of awareness campaign for that part. I’m convinced there is only issues with food safety like all other countries and when the ministry of health did the campaign it helped people a lot to be more aware of the situation and improved the food safety situation in Lebanon.” Said Dr. Aramouni.
Ariane Almaz, the TOKTEN project manager said “TOKTEN is a UNDP project aimed at managing and organize lessons and training for ministries and public institution to help Lebanese have a better successful career. This project is about food safety and deliver new guidelines for processing plants and the expert has worked in several plants and universities in the United States. We also try to improve not only the safety at production level, but also on the handling level.”
TOKTEN in Lebanon

was launched in 2005 and it follows the global UNDP concept and mechanisms to tap into the capacities of national expatriates and mobilize them for short-term consultancies in their countries of origin, at a relatively low cost. The objective is to reduce the adverse effects of brain-drain.

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