Dr. Adel Abdel Khalek, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, and Professor of Food Safety & Hygiene at BUC gave a virtual lecture entitled “Food Safety between Egypt Vision 2030 and National Security”, in a symposium on “Food Safety” organized by the “National Committee for Microorganisms” in The Academy of Scientific and Technological Research. The lecture focused on the importance of food safety to prevent diseases, including the emerging Coronavirus, and the impact of food safety on Egyptian national security.
Abdel Khalek added that the aim of the symposium is to protect citizens from the danger of consuming unsafe food and to raise awareness of the basic requirements that must be taken into account during food handling operations, from purchasing until eating in a proper manner.
He confirmed that the faculties of veterinary medicine are the only colleges that study hygiene & control of foods of animal origin, as only veterinary medicine in Egypt that studies hygiene & control of the meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, and their derivatives and their products. Indicating that foods are of animal origin, No one can perform their examination, which is the physical and laboratory examination other than a veterinarian specialized in food hygiene & control and not any other specialist. Noting that most veterinary medicine colleges are currently graduating veterinarians specialized in food hygiene and safety.
Dr. Abdel Khalek indicated that the seventh goal of the sustainable development agenda of “Egypt Vision 2030” is to ensure food security and eradicate hunger, ensure that all people have access to safe, nutritious food, double agricultural productivity and income from small food producers, ensure the sustainability of food production systems, and increase Investing in agriculture and animal production, correcting and preventing trade restrictions in global agricultural markets, and adopting measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets.
Furthermore, he pointed out that President El-Sisi’s initiative is to provide healthy and safe food, and he is keen to provide safe and healthy food to Egyptians and that food reaches all members of society to build a healthy person, as well as the state’s efforts to develop livestock, animal production, milk, poultry, and fish. And the One Million Head of Cattle Project and the encouragement of small producers with breeds, loans, and fish farms nationwide, including Beraka Ghalioun (Ghalioun pond), reviving the veal project and the future of Egypt project in the field of agricultural production.
At the conclusion of the lecture, Dr. Adel Abdel Khalek presented 10 important recommendations to ensure food safety and prevent food poisoning, including:
1- Activating the supervisory role of food producers in adopting good health practices.
2- Consolidating cooperation between public health, animal health, agriculture, and other sectors.
3- Application of international standards set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
4- Food safety is a responsibility of everyone, and therefore it is a matter for everyone.
5- The cooperation and participation of all actors in the food supply chain on a large scale, in addition to rational control and regulations, which are essential to ensure food safety.
6- Establishing effective control systems for food control, including emergency preparedness.
7- Promote the use of food safety management systems by food business operators.
8- Building the capabilities of consumers to make healthy food choices to ensure food safety.
9- Activating preventive controls to address most food safety problems.
10- All those involved in food operations from processing to retail should implement HACCP programs, which is a system that identifies, assesses, and monitors risks that are important to food safety from the initial production to the final consumption.