Food Safety

Accredited Lab To Boost Food Safety Nationwide

Cambodia has its first accredited lab for food microbiology testing, boosting the country’s food safety and opening up new export opportunities for agricultural and fish products
Institut Pasteur du Cambodge (IPC) worker checks dried fish at a laboratory in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/supplied
Institut Pasteur du Cambodge (IPC) worker checks dried fish at a laboratory in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/supplied

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The Laboratory of Environment and Food Safety (LEFS) at Institut Pasteur du Cambodge (IPC), is now accredited for food microbiology testing, enabling it to further assist food processing businesses to identify potential food safety hazards and improve the safety and quality of food products.

In a joint release on Tuesday, IPC, Fisheries Administration, UNIDO and the EU said it will also contribute to Cambodia improving its export of processed agricultural products, including fishery products, to other potential importing countries, particularly ASEAN, China and the EU.

“Now food importers, exporters, producers and regulatory agencies of Cambodia will find it easier to test their products. The laboratory tests and analyses all of the microbiological parameters of food and water samples with international standard methods,” they said in the release.

Workers stand in front of the Laboratory of Environment and Food Safety (LEFS) at IPC in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/supplied
Workers stand in front of the Laboratory of Environment and Food Safety (LEFS) at IPC in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/supplied

They added that the certificate of analysis of accredited laboratories will enhance the credibility of test results generated from the laboratory, therefore providing assurance of the quality of products to the consumers.

Andre Spiegel, Director of IPC, said the accreditation is another step in IPC’s goal to improve the quality of laboratory services in order to ensure accurate results for clients.

“For public health, the authorities in Cambodia will be able to rely on this accredited laboratory, particularly in the field of food safety, but also the accreditation of such a laboratory will be useful to serve the industry in Cambodia, including food and fishery businesses,’’ Spiegel said.

Shetty Thombathu, Chief Technical Advisor of CAPFish-CAPTURE: Post-harvest Fisheries Development Project, said that accredited laboratories such as LEFS play a key role to integrate Cambodian food products into global value chains.

“Currently, such accredited testing facilities in the country are quite limited and Cambodia depends heavily on the accredited laboratories in neighboring countries for food testing, which is both time consuming and costly,” Thombathu said.

CAPFish-CAPTURE is an EU-funded project that helped IPC with the accreditation process.

The accreditation was issued by the International Accreditation Service (IAS) on September 6 and is the international standard in testing and calibration for laboratory quality management systems. It ensures full compliance of the ISO/IEC-17025:2017 concerning the sample preparation, storage and performance testing of food microbiological organisms.

The LEFS of the IPC is now able to analyze samples for contaminants such as Salmonella, E. coli, Coliforms bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae and culturable microorganisms at 30C in food products and animal feed, the release said.

“This accreditation reflects the great effort and commitment of the IPC team to improve the testing capacity and services of LEFS to meet the latest and most stringent international standards for laboratory quality management systems,” the release added.

“The accreditation has shown that the laboratory is competent for food microbiology testing informing global customers that test data supplied by the lab are accurate and reliable.”