Yesterday we marked World Food Safety Day by coming together to raise awareness on the importance of food safety in line with this year’s theme “Food Standards Save Lives”. The EU funded Food Safety Project together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the FAO office in Albania organised an event to bring together representatives from agri-tourism, restaurants, associations, agri-food regulators and consumers.
In his video message, Mr Raimund Jehle, FAO representative for Albania spoke about the vital role that food safety plays in achieving healthy diets, increasing market access and economic development, as well as food and nutrition security. He also emphasized the importance of having robust national food control systems to support implementation of food standards with a focus on science, risk based inspection, food analysis and communication with value chain operators and consumers.
In her speech, Mrs Frida Krifca, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development highlighted the progress being made towards alignment with Chapter 12 of the EU acquis, noting the work being done to transpose laws on official controls, animal health and plant health.
Other speakers included Mrs. Jeta Deda, General Director of the National Food Authority, Mrs. Valbona Paluka, food safety expert and national focal point for EFSA and Professor Dr. Fatbardh Sallaku, Rector of the Agricultural University of Tirana.
The event also included a cookery demonstration by Chef Alfred Marku from Rapsodia Restaurant accompanied by Vanessa Cooling from the Food Safety Project who delivered key messages on good food hygiene practices. Food businesses in attendance received copies of a guide to food safety training and a booklet outlining the food safety skills that food handlers must be able to demonstrate before they start handling food in the workplace. These publications are available on AKU’s website: https://aku.gov.al/higjiena-ushqimore/
Since 2019 the Food Safety project has implemented activities to support the Albanian authorities in building robust national food control systems based on science, regulation and collaboration to deliver agri-food safety controls that ultimately protect consumers.
This action is funded by the European Union and is implemented by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland in partnership with the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and The Marine, the Finnish Food Safety Authority and Creative Business Solutions (CBS), Albania.