Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) organized a training workshop for the trainers who impart EFST (Emirates Food Safety Training) to food handlers in the emirate.
The week-long training workshop attended by 20 trainers from the training companies approved by ADFCA for providing food safety training to food handlers was meant to enhance the quality standards of EFST at all levels. The program was designed to equip the trainers with the necessary up-to-date know-how on the most effective methods, such as using exercises and games and case studies in the training.
Saeed Jasim Mohamed, Acting Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA, said that experience had confirmed that the capacity and performance levels of the trainers improved substantially following the training. "The knowledge and know-how imparted in the workshop helped the trainers better achieve their goal of inculcating food safety habits among the food handlers, whose levels of literacy and education are very low," he explained.
"The EFST training posed several challenges to ADFCA since its inception and we have been trying hard to surmount them one after the other. A principal challenge was the fact that 55% of food handlers did not speak either English or Arabic, the two official languages in use. Literacy levels among them are too low. The movement of workers in and out of the food sector was another problem," Saeed Jasem pointed out.
He commended the good work done by the training companies in raising the bar on food safety in general. "By the end of 2011, 63000 food handlers in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi completed the training. The program was launched in August 2008," he concluded.Launched with a view to enhance food safety standards across the food chain, EFST was the first of its kind in the public sector in the whole of Middle East. The training program drew substantially from best international practices and standards and took inputs from countries around the world with high food safety systems.