The Ministry of Municipality has developed a five year plan to enhance food monitoring system in the country.
“First time, the Office of Undersecretary for Municipal Affairs made a five-year strategic plan to build food monitoring system of the country more effective,” said First Food Inspection Expert at the Ministry of Municipality, Dr. Nawal Mohamad Abdullah.
Speaking in a Qatar TV programme, Dr. Nawal said that the plan is focusing on two major areas. “One area is to develop laws, regulations and conditions. Under the plan, we prepared an inspectors’ guide which is under publication. The procedures for food monitoring have been updated,” said Dr. Nawal. She said that the second guide will be also published later, as per the plan.
“The second area is focusing on human resources. We prepared the plan to assign the duties of inspectors according to their qualifications and experiences,” said Dr. Nawal. For example, she said, some inspectors will be assigned to conduct inspection at food outlets while others at food processing factories.
“Under the plan, the inspectors will undergo especial training programmes enabling them to perform their jobs in a better way. The training programmes qualified inspectors supporting greatly to build an effective monitoring system,” said Dr. Nawal.
Speaking about the women inspectors, she said that majority of health monitoring inspectors are women who are doing excellent jobs. She lauded them for their efforts in monitoring health rules at outlets and creating awareness about health and hygiene among food handlers. “The health monitoring teams at the municipalities are playing key role in making food outlets – restaurants, cafeteria, hotels and others – to comply with health rules and hygiene for the safety of consumers,” said Dr. Nawal.
She said that the inspection campaigns are being conducted following Law No. 8 of 1990 for regulating foods. “Food monitoring system is first line of defence to ensure the food safety in the country. Inspectors are distributed in three groups – inspectors holding university degrees in food specialisations, agricultural experts and veterinary doctors,” said Dr. Nawal.
She said that the agricultural experts are assigned to check the agricultural produce. “However the veterinary doctors conduct inspections of fish, meat and butcheries.” She said that a team from the Office of Undersecretary for Municipal Affairs with the support of municipalities inspects food processing units through regular visits.
“The inspectors armed with electronic devices connected to the main system of monitoring make regular inspection visits to food outlets following their schedules. The inspectors check the expiry date of products, quality of fish and meat and agricultural produce,” said Dr. Nawal. She said that the ticket of violations is being issued to erring outlets after recording the violation and uploading pictures through electronic devices.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar