Food experts meet in Kampala over safety, trade standards

A food vendor sells grasshoppers, which were recently said to be harvested using insecticide. Food experts have said food, even that hawked in Kampala, should meet the acceptable standards. PHOTO BY FAISWAL KASIRYE

What you need to know:

There is still lack of data in standards setting process..

KAMPALA- Global leaders from Codex Alimentarius member states are meeting in Kampala to discuss food hygiene, standards and best practices for food trade.

The Codex Alimentarius is a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines and other recommendations relating to foods, food production and food safety.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop on Monday, Dr Ben Manyindo, the executive director Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), said: “We are coming together under Codex to consider international standards in food for purposes of protecting the consumers and for fair food trade. We want to discuss the food safety challenges and how to implement the standards in various countries.”
He added: “In Uganda, we still have a challenge of sensitisation and implementation of these standards. If you look at the food production chain, on hygiene we are not doing well, we are still selling our food on the ground. We need to improve the state of our markets in order to trade international.”

The three-day 2nd Pan Africa Codex Capacity Building Workshop, was jointly organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the government of Switzerland in collaboration with African Union.

It was aimed at sharing experiences and identifying best practices in order to promote intra-regional collaboration on Codex and food safety issues.

Dr Jean Kamanzi, the regional food safety and quality officer at FAO noted that there is lack of data in the standard setting process and in most Africa countries food is from the informal sector. He added that food needs to meet standards citing an example of street food hawked in Kampala.