The EU funded ‘Food Safety Project’ continues to deliver training to strengthen competencies of official control staff working in the areas of food safety, veterinary and plant health. So far this year project experts have delivered training on:
Post mortem inspections in poultry slaughterhouses
Flexibility provisions in EU food legislation
Structural, operational and hygiene requirements in dairy establishments
Preparations for Chapter 12 bilateral screening process
Plant health - Protected Zones
Validation of methods to test for veterinary medicine residues in food of animal origin
The project is also working closely with the Albanian School of Public Administration (ASPA) to create a one stop shop for training materials that will be accessible to official control staff who are tasked with enforcing legislation governing food safety, veterinary and plant health.
Work has also continued on developing new laws on official controls, animal health and plant health. Once adopted these laws will further demonstrate Albania’s commitment to drafting legal text that facilitates smooth implementation and effective enforcement within Albania’s own legal framework.
The bilateral screening process for Chapter 12 (food safety, veterinary and plant health) of the EU acquis is due to start in October. With the help of the project preparations are already underway to train representatives on presenting Albania’s level of alignment with Chapter 12 legislation to the European Commission.
Based on experience from other countries in the region it is expected that classification of establishments will be one of the conditions (opening benchmarks) that must be met for opening Chapter 12 negotiations. As a starting point in this process the project will provide training for groups of inspectors to aid in assessing and categorizing food establishments of animal origin according to EU requirements.
With just under nine months remaining to implement activities the Food Safety Project will continue to work with the Albanian authorities to strengthen the agri-food control system which will in turn enhance the protection of consumer health, animal health and plant health.