An article by Joe Whitworth for Food Security News devoted to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) project in Lebanon to develop a platform to improve food safety in the country. The initiative is aimed to support the Ministry of Agriculture in its role to boost food safety.

Number of research conducted by local institutes and government agencies have confirmed high contamination of crops, consequently food safety remains an unsettled issue for the government and consumers.

Despite endorsing in 2016 a food safety law by the government of Lebanon and establishing Lebanese Food Safety Commission (LFSC), it has brought no substantive impact to alleviate the problem. Absence of implementation decrees, procedures and systems become a major obstacle to realize the initiative.

Now the FAO project assists the Ministry to establish prototype for a food contamination monitoring system (FCMS) to strengthen capacity of laboratory analysis, infrastructure and helps to train staff to implement the monitoring program and to collect knowledge and experience in spreading pathogens in the food supply chain. These data provide the basis for new implementing policies.

However, the Ministry is still encountering some significant challenges in implementing food control systems policies. The FAO 30-month project was delayed by economic, social and political unrest, collecting samples of food commodities was complicated by regularly occurring roadblocks.  

Implementation of FAO FCMS project is anticipated to bring critical reduction in food loss to protect consumers health and provision of safe food. 

The article in original version is available at:

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