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Improving food safety in Bangladesh

Workshop on Risk Assessment in Food Safety in Bangladesh


01/12/2014

An assessment of the true impact of the lack of food safety in Bangladesh is not possible presently as there is very little baseline data available on rates of contamination of food. The severity and prevalence of biological, chemical, physical, and radiological hazards, natural toxins, pesticides, heavy metals, drug residues, decomposition, micro-organisms and parasites, allergens, unapproved food and color additives are largely undocumented.

To this end, data on hazards in the food chain including biological and chemical risks and their impact on human, plant and animal health needs systematic collection, organization and interpretation. As a first step towards developing a composite picture of the nature of risks for food and feed in Bangladesh, a two day workshop on ‘Risk Assessment in Food Safety in Bangladesh’ was organized by the Centre for Advanced Research in Sciences, Dhaka University and the Institute for Epidemiology and Disease Control Research (IEDCR) with support from the FAO project ‘Improving Food Safety in Bangladesh’ on June 8-9, 2013 at the IEDCR conference room.

The workshop brought together national and international scientists and researchers investigating food-borne chemical and microbial hazards and food-borne illnesses as well as food safety professionals including stakeholders from the Government of Bangladesh, the private sector, civil society organizations and International Agencies. Students from various universities and analysts from the National Food Safety Laboratory also attended. Keynote speakers included:

  • Prof. Mahmudur Rahman, Director, IEDCR, who leads the mandated national organization for disease surveillance including food-borne illnesses
  • Mr. Humayun Kabir, Director (Standards), BSTI, the sole standards setting organization in the country
  • Prof. Latiful Bari, Principal Scientist and Head, Food Analysis and Research Laboratory, a key national institution and member of the Asian Food Safety and Security Association
  • Dr. Harshavardhan Thippareddi, Professor, University of Nebraska and a specialist in food safety regulatory issues
  • Dr. Jeyam Subbiah, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska and a specialist in risk assessment of food

Other talks were delivered by leading scientists and experts from the Bangladesh Agriculture University, the Plant Protection Wing (Department of Agriculture Extension), Fish Inspection and Quality Control Laboratories, the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research.

Prof. Motiuddin Ahmed, Director, Institute of Public Health, chaired the opening and closing sessions. The FAO Food Safety Project warmly thanks IEDCR and CARS-DU for conceptualizing and organizing a vibrant scientific meeting.