ADFCA to Continue Efforts for Developing Innovative Implementation Tools for Food Safety
The 9th ADFCA Scientific Committee meeting moots innovative approaches
Abu Dhabi, November 6, 2010: The 9th meeting of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority's (ADFCA) Scientific Committee, held October 31 & November 1st at Park Rotana Hotel, has discussed various topics of interest and recommended fostering innovative practical approaches in the implementation of its Food Safety Management System (FSMS) in view of the multi-cultural population of the country, low levels of literacy among food handlers and their inability to communicate effectively.
The recommendations, subsequently ratified by the Authority's higher management, include the development of a range of implementation tools, including regulatory platforms to assist in business compliance with the Food Safety Management System (FSMS) requirements to be undertaken in transparent consultation with all the concerned stakeholders.
ADFCA will continue its efforts in introducing a transparent and inclusive process in the development of regulations & codes of practice, through the stakeholders' consultation scheme. While developing flexible risk-based approaches in view of the varying situations in the different sectors of the industry and the disparate risk profiles.
ADFCA will continue with its strategy of applying the FSMS-HACCP food safety model for the catering sector on a voluntary basis, utilizing pilot models and studies prior to launching it on a large scale. It is worth noting that the new ADFCA regulation pertaining to food hygiene has been released in July this year had identified the key requirements related to food safety and hygiene across the food chain including catering and retail sectors..
The other major recommendations from the meeting include continuation of work on a nutrition survey and a total diet study for which ADFCA would seek technical support from NZFSA, FSAI and other experienced competent authorities.
In his opening remarks at the meeting, Rashed Mohamed Al Shariqi, Director General of ADFCA, noted the Authority had taken decisive steps in the direction of more structured work on the development of policies and legislations, documentation and automation of the business processes and further crystallization of the roles and responsibilities within the Animal Health & Production, the Agriculture and the Development sectors.
"Efforts aimed at automation of key activities, including the EFST- Essential Food Safety Training program, FIMIS- the Food Import Management Information system, LIMS- Laboratory information Management System, electronic archiving, vaccination scheduling, upgrading of the existing application for the domestic market inspection and other initiatives, resulted in unprecedented efficiency and overall dynamism," he pointed out. .
Dr. Mariam Hareb Sultan, Executive Director of Policy and Regulations Sector, pointed out that the committee had recommended a large scale shift away from conventional cultivation in the soil to various soilless and ecologically sound practices such as hydroponics, using more natural inputs to gain better market opportunities and sustainability. "ADFCA recognizes the need for testing different systems that suit small and large scale soilless culture. ADFCA will also consider Train the Trainer programs in agricultural aspects and establishing GAP-compliant demonstration farms," she added.
As part of ADFCA's efforts at quality control in regard to animal feed, the committee recommended execution of the ï¿½Food chainï¿½ approach, which holistically takes into account both feed safety and its impact on food safety. "While developing horizontal codes of practices which suppliers have to abide by while exporting safe and high quality feed into Abu Dhabi, we also stipulate that they adhere to the technical rules issued through the relevant federal entities," Dr. Sultan pointed out.