Food Safety Program Launched to Combat Food Poisoning

As food poisoning cases in Cambodia have seen a recent rise, a new food safety training program launched on Thursday to combat the issue.
At training program by b. Consulting Cambodia and Institut Pasteur du Cambodia (IPC). (Kiripost/Rov Hongseng)
At training program by b. Consulting Cambodia and Institut Pasteur du Cambodia (IPC). (Kiripost/Rov Hongseng)

A food safety training program has been launched to combat the recent outbreak of food poisoning cases across the country.

The training program by b. Consulting Cambodia and Institut Pasteur du Cambodia (IPC) aims to provide food businesses operators with opportunities to ensure compliance with the law while offering the flexibility to develop a customized food safety system tailored to their company’s needs, said a statement.

Contaminated food is responsible for the food poisoning of more than 600 million people worldwide, killing 42,000 people, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization. In Cambodia, the government has recognized that foodborne illness is a critical public health issue.

Public Concerns Raised Over Food Safety

Between 2014 and 2019, the Cambodian Department of Drugs and Food reported that nationwide food poisoning claimed the lives of 81 people. During that time, a further 5,598 were hospitalized.

Professor André Spiegel, Director of IPC, said that IPC has operated a training program on food safety and good hygiene practices for the public since 2018, and has delivered more than 10 training sessions to hotels, and catering and food producers.

However, this service was performed according to the specific demands from the enterprises and companies, he added.

“It seemed essential to us that catering professionals should have easier access to this specialized training,” Spiegel said.

“To contribute to better health for the Cambodian people by strengthening good hygiene practices and food safety, we are formalizing our partnership with b. Consulting Cambodia to make this training accessible to a greater number of actors,” he emphasized.

This time, the training courses are open to all companies, whether small, medium or large, and to all sectors of the food and beverage and hospitality industries.

Florian Bohême, founder of b.Consulting Cambodia, said “Today, the industry as a whole is involved in the fight against food contamination.” He added that he is grateful to professional associations, such as the Cambodia Restaurant Association, that have helped to promote food safety training and best practices.

“We, at b. Consulting, a food and beverage and hospitality consultancy, know that one of the most effective ways of combating foodborne illness and contamination is through better training of our restaurant, café, hotel and canteen staff,” he said.

Dr. Navin Sreng, Head of the Environment and Food Safety Laboratory, said that every month there are reported cases of food poisoning in Cambodia.

“Food safety is a top priority in the food and beverage industry, as it is important to protect consumers from health risks and avoid costly legal consequences,” said the statement.

That is why b.Consulting is organizing a training program to help restaurants and other food businesses learn about the new Food Safety Law and how to comply with it. The training will be conducted by IPC, which is a leading expert in food safety.

The Food Safety and Best Practices Training Program will be delivered in both Khmer and English so that all participants can understand the materials. The program will cover important topics, such as how to prevent food contamination, international food safety standards, and how to comply with the new Food Safety Law.

By completing the program, participants will gain the knowledge and skills needed to work safely and compliantly in the food industry, said the statement.

Additionally, management teams in the food industry will be trained on the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) system, which is an internationally recognized system for ensuring food safety.

HACCP is a systematic approach to ensuring food safety by identifying and controlling hazards that could cause foodborne illness. It is a preventive approach that focuses on identifying and controlling hazards at critical control points throughout the food production process.

The training will give them the knowledge and skills they need to implement and maintain a HACCP program in their own businesses.