Tuesday, July 28, 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
B115 - B116 (Oregon Convention Center)
Primary Contact: Leslie Thompson
Organizers: George Wilson , Wendy Warren and Pamela Wilger
Convenor: Leslie ThompsonAlthough lab capacity building has taken on a life on its own over the past few years, there are other components of the food safety umbrella that remain under-appreciated. The entire spectrum of what is necessary to produce a safe food supply has drawn the attention of countries worldwide as well as all the other entities, e.g., international organizations dedicated to food safety, food industry, NGOs, and regulatory agencies to address the need to improve the food supply in the 21st century. The objective of this symposium is to demonstrate the utility and integration of lab training within individual countries food safety program. This is to ensure that their food production conforms to international standards for food safety, not only their own domestic consumption but also as a trusting partner in the global economy. Each speaker will share their experiences that addressed how countries or their respective organizations used analytical and microbiological, hands-on laboratory training to improve food safety programs. Specifically, they will provide insightful models that were successful and furthermore, identify the challenges and obstacles that lie ahead. These will reflect the findings of a number of international organizations, including government, food industry and the private sector, that have identified critical gaps in lab capacity building that includes training and retention of lab personnel. Training is not a stand-alone caveat to fix the challenges faced by many countries. In addition to lab training and a suitable physical laboratory facility, any improvement to an individual country’s ability to respond to food safety issues needs to focus on a number of diverse but integrated aspects; appropriate management and leadership, laws, regulations and policies, an understanding of QA policies and practices, procurement, information management system, and maintaining and improving the physical facility infrastructure. Lastly, the commitment of resources and efforts to train lab analysts for proficiency and to learn the necessary skills to adapt to and adopt new technology.
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