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Posted On: 18 March 2021 04:37 pm
Updated On: 18 March 2021 04:41 pm

New Food Safety Lab inaugurated at Hamad Port

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H.E. Minister of Public Health Dr. Hanan Muhammad Al Kuwari, and H.E. Minister of Transportation and Communications Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, inaugurated Thursday (18 March) the Food Safety Lab, affiliated to MoPH Central Food Laboratories, at Hamad Port.

H.E. the Minister of Public Health, affirmed the ministry's keenness to enhance the capabilities of the food safety management system in harmony with the best international standards, that required the development of lab services, noting that the lab uses the latest internationally approved analysis techniques, to ensure the accuracy and safety of results, in a way that contributes to ensuring quality and safety of food in the local market.

Her Excellency explained that opening labs at the main ports facilitate clearance procedures of food shipments. H.E. the Minister indicated that the lab obtained international accreditation (ISO 17025) for the results, before its official opening. Her Excellency pointed out that the lab includes 10 test centers and a store of chemicals. It aims to accelerate analysis and control of food, facilitate the early release of food shipments, and reduce the storage burden on ports.

For his part, H.E. the Minister of Transportation and Communications said that the inauguration of the food safety laboratory is considered a new addition to the Hamad Ports accomplishments. He added that the lab will complement efforts to accelerate the process for food import companies in Qatar and protect the interests of traders and importers, in addition to enhancing the requirements of shipping operators.

His Excellency pointed out that the lab building has been constructed by the Hamad Port Project Steering Committee in accordance with the highest international technical standards in order to achieve the vision of the Ministry of Communications and Communications in integrating the port facilities work mechanisms using the latest advanced technology.

His Excellency also said that the huge technical capabilities and modern facilities, coupled with the advanced systems at Hamad Port, have contributed significantly to enhancing the mechanisms and regulations of the competent state authorities at the port.

For her part, Director of the Food Safety Department at (MoPH) Wassan Abdullah Al Baker explained that the chemical analysis unit handles fresh or processed food samples to analyze pesticide remains, which includes the detection in its first stage of 423 pesticides commonly used in the field products. The analysis is done using the liquid and gas "chromatography" related to the mass spectrometer, which is the two most recent technologies in the world in the field of pesticide analysis and detection and their concentrations.

She added that the Microbiological Analysis and Molecular Biology Unit also receives all food samples, as detection of the microbial content in the samples for all microbial species determined by the regional and international food standards is carried out using the latest global analysis techniques such as the technique of genetic fingerprinting (PCR) used for DNA analysis, detecting contamination in meat, within a standard time that does not exceed 24 hours from the receiving of the sample, using standard analytical methods to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the results for all samples.

The inaugural of the lab comes as part of plans to expand this important sector of public health and to add labs for food analysis with the same competence and accreditation that the main labs have obtained since 2015 with the aim of achieving food safety and security in the country.

Source: Qatar News Agency

Cover image credit: MoPH Qatar