The West Africa Competitiveness Programme – The Gambia (WACOMP-GM) held a 2-day advanced training on food safety based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system for 24 food inspectors of the Food Safety and Quality Authority (FSQA) on 24th and 25th October 2022 at Metzy Residence Hotel in Kololi.
This capacity building event followed a similar advanced training on HACCP for a first set of 15 FSQA food inspectors on 28th and 29th July 2022.
The HACCP system identifies specific hazards and measures for their control to ensure the safety of food. HACCP is a tool to assess hazards and establish control measures that focus on prevention rather than relying mainly on end-product testing.
Funded by the European Union, the WACOMP-GM project’s objective is to increase competitiveness in The Gambia through enhanced quality compliance along the onion value chain, thereby strengthening the country’s competitiveness and enhancing its integration into the regional and international trading systems.
The project is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and United Purpose (UP) in The Gambia.
The facilitator of the training, UNIDO international expert on Quality Infrastructure (QI), Prof. Dr. Adalberto Vieira, provided practical training in the implementation and verification/audit of the HACCP system.
He said the participants already had a basic knowledge of the HACCP System and that the training provides an opportunity to consolidate their knowledge about this system, including the aspects to be verified from the inspector’s perspective during the inspection of the food business operators implementing a HACCP-based food safety system.
“A successful implementation of the HACCP-based food safety system opens up several opportunities of accessing new markets and also increasing the confidence of the final consumers/costumers in the fulfilment of the mandatory food safety requirements,” he noted.
Prof. Dr. Adalberto Vieira expressed optimism in the knowledge shared with the food inspectors to effectively carry out their inspection activities. He concluded by urging participants to make good use of the lessons learnt and share with colleagues.
Antoinette MV Badjan, a participant, said the training will greatly help to improve the effectiveness of her food inspections. She thanked UNIDO WACOMP-GM for facilitating the training while looking firward to more UNIDO capacity building initiative like this.