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Food Safety: Role of Universities and Educational Institutions MENA Present and Future programs

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Title: Food Safety: Role of Universities and Educational Institutions MENA Present and Future programs


1
Food Safety Role of Universities and Educational
Institutions (MENA) Present and Future programs
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD SCIENCES
American University of Beirut
Dr. Zeina Kassaify Department of Nutrition and
Food Sciences
4th Dubai International Food Safety Conference
Dubai, UAE February 24- 26, 2009
2
Outline
  • MENA Region Facts- Educational Institutions and
    Food Safety
  • Universities Food Safety- Research, Teaching
    and Outreach
  • Current Research, Teaching and Outreach Role of
    MENA Region Universities
  • Future Recommendations and Conclusions

3
MENA Region Facts Educational Institutions and
Food Safety
4
MENA Region Facts Educational Institutions and
Food Safety
Higher Education Institutions (World Bank
definition)
5
MENA Region Facts Educational Institutions and
Food Safety
  • World Banks 2007 Report (MENA Economic
    Developments and Prospects)
  • Important recognition of higher education
  • 1990 - 2000, enrollment rates at higher levels
    of education increased by two-third
  • World Banks 2008 Report ( The Road Not
    Traveled Education Reform in the Middle East and
    North Africa)
  • MENA countries invest a higher proportion of
    their GDP on education than other regions in the
    world!!!

6
MENA Region Facts Educational Institutions and
Food Safety
  • Challenges are in developing high-quality
    education systems, promoting inquiry-based
    learningproblem solving, life-long learning and
    training that respond to the needs of the labor
    market
  • No reported data on the number of universities
    with specialized Departments that offer higher
    degrees in Food Science/Safety etc.
  • Many offer such degrees or education/training
    under Agriculture or Public Health or at the
    Masters level only
  • However, at least 2 universities in each MENA
    state contribute to Food safety by teaching,
    research or outreach initiatives

7
MENA Region Facts Educational Institutions and
Food Safety
  • Many face difficulties in meeting international
    safety and quality standards due to lack in
    scientific research, testing and conformity
    (Impact of food safety standard on food and
    agricultural trade in the Near East FAO/WHO,
    2005)
  • Some have imposed questionable restrictions on
    imported products because of lack of scientific
    justification
  • For example
  • A max moisture content of 5 for frozen poultry-
    considered too low by some WTO members
  • Ban beef imports with fat content gt than 7
  • Zero tolerance to certain imported foods, which
    need now to be replaced by sanitary measures
    based on risk assessment.

8
Role of Universities in Food Safety and Quality
The responsibility for food safety is multisided
-shared among the government, industry, academia
and consumers.
Effective delivery of Food safety
programs/system require
Consultation
Communication
Policy Development
Implementation of risk alleviation measures
Consumer Confidence
9
Role of Universities in Food Safety and Quality
Experts advisory committee
Health professionals
Advise Comment Educate Investigate review or make
recommendations for action
Scientific societies
Academia
Industry Associations
Consumer associations
Government agencies
10
Role of Universities in Food Safety and Quality
Advise, Comment, Educate, Investigate review or
make recommendations …
Experts advisory committee
create food safety laws and regulations, inspect,
monitor, develop policies, enforce...
GOVERNMENT
Consumers
Industries
Make choices, participate in the decision-making
process…
produce safe food, implement…
11
Role of Universities in Food Safety and Quality
Academic Investigators
Communicate
Design
Execute
Consumers, media, and legislators
Demonstrate safety
Industry
Bring to market
Comply to regulations
12
Role of Universities in Food Safety and Quality
Ultimate Role of Universities
Contribute to knowledge through research and
publications
Build capacity through educating students and
continuing education programs for the area of
food safety
Enrich teaching and research and contribute to
the creation of new knowledge by civic and
community service activities
13
Role of Universities in Food Safety and Quality
Examples of Missions/visions of some Food
Science/ Safety Programs at Universities in MENA
Countries Faculty of Agricultural and Food
Sciences, American University of Beirut …. to
promote, through higher agricultural education,
teaching, research, and extension in ….Foods and
Nutrition, ……as a basis for sustainable
improvement in the lives of people throughout
Lebanon, the Middle East region, and the world.
14
Department of Food Science, Ain Shams University,
Cairo ….to prepare professionals in the area
of Food Science and Technology ……. to enhance
products quality of the food industry …
Food Science Program, United Arab Emirates
University ….to prepare the future leaders of
the food industry and allied government and
research institutions in the U.A.E. to assure
food security, quality and safety
15
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Educational Programs (Higher
level education)
  • Graduate Future Food Safety Professionals who
  • Trained in related disciplines and capable to
    contribute to effective food safety programs
    (agronomic, animal and veterinary medical
    sciences, environmental and public health
    sciences. surveillance, consumer behavior, farm
    to fork supply chain, new traceability
    technologies, etc.)
  • Have methodological background to apply in
    current and future food safety research
    (molecular biology, immunology, epidemiology, and
    mathematical modeling)
  • Trained on food safety policy and international
    trade
  • Trained in adult education methods and program
    efficacy evaluation. (Jaykus and Ward 1999)
  • Distance Education for a broader and more diverse
    student populations

16
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Research Initiatives
  • The Food Safety Golden Age (Food Bioterrorism and
    Global Food Security/Supply, etc.)
  • Research initiatives are divided into
  • 1- Basic Research
  • Improve aspects of the food chain from farm to
    fork.
  • Improve methods to detect pathogens during
    production
  • Better understanding of the transmission of
    pathogens
  • Improved methods to control food borne illness
    and pathogen colonization in the food animal
  • 2- Applied Research
  • Environmental impacts and social Environment
    management
  • Develop preventive systems
  • Traditional production and products

17
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Research Initiatives
Research requires
  • In October 2008, USDA Awards 13 Million for
    Food Safety Research
  • "Sound advice about food safety is based on good
    research to pinpoint potential pathways of
    contamination as well as effective solutions and
    safeguards." (USDA Secretary, Ed Schafer)

18
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Research Initiatives (MENA
Countries)
  • Funding resources are limited for this sector and
    diversified
  • Oriented mainly towards development projects
    rather than basic or applied research
  • A very compartmentalized region and most of the
    research carried is disconnected from reality
  • We have individualistic tendencies (as described
    by Mr. Ziad Moussa, ESDUs communications
    officer)
  • Participatory multi-action research and
    collaboration is the optimal plan

19
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Research Initiatives (MENA
Countries)
  • For example
  • Some Food Safety Research initiatives In
    collaboration with Universities in MENA Countries
  • Prevention, control and resistance of Salmonella
    spp in traditional foods antibiotic residues in
    dairy products Aflatoxin AFM1 in milk and
    cheeses development of micro criteria for
    traditional foods etc..(AUB, Lebanon)
  • Pesticide residues Occurrence and legislation of
    mycotoxins in food and feed …(Morocco)

20
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Research Initiatives (MENA
Countries)
  • Avian Inlfuenza (Lebanon, Iran, Egypt),
  • Food Safety Policy Issues, Safety of Traditional
    foods… (UAE)
  • Food poisoning and gastroenteritis Surveillance
    of antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella
    enterica serotype Typhi in seven Asian countries

21
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Outreach Programs
Activities to provide current and relevant food
safety information to all points of the food
chain from farm to fork
  • Transferring of technology attained by research
    or knowledge
  • Training on Food safety and quality
  • Educating Consumers
  • Engaging in Policy development

22
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Outreach Programs
  • The UMass Food Safety Education program
  • …training and resources on safe food handling to
    food producers and processors, food workers,
    regulatory officials, educators and volunteers
    serving high risk groups
  • Iowa State University Extension
  • .. educational materials to the public to
    minimize their risk of foodborne illness and
    access research-based, unbiased information on
    food safety and quality.

23
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Outreach Programs
  • Extension Food Safety Education Michigan State
    University
  • ….materials for educating both consumers and the
    media regarding pertinent food safety-related
    issues organizes food safety-related training
    sessions for a variety of audiences investigates
    the sociological and communications aspects of
    food safety issues.
  • Food Safety outreach programs at Penn State
  • partnerships to develop pro-active food safety
    programs and standards

24
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Outreach Programs in MENA
Countries
  • Confined to occasional individualistic seminars,
    workshops, short courses, small scale
    consultations and services to the industry and
    public awareness campaigns during/after a crisis.
  • Lack of developed extension programs or
    specialized centers of excellence

25
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Outreach Programs in MENA
Countries
Examples of Outreach activities by some or in
collaboration of MENA region Universities
  • American University of Beirut Faculty of
    Agricultural and Food Sciences, Lebanon
  • partnered with Lebanese government , UNIDO,
    other non-government organization to establish a
    draft for a comprehensive food safety law
  • assist governmental agencies to develop
    confine to international standards (member of
    committee to develop national Codex Alimentarius
    Standards),

26
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Outreach Programs in MENA
Countries
  • Workshops to train Quality Control managers, Food
    service personnel, health ministry inspectors
  • Food safety symposia and surveillance studies,
    outbreak investigations, risk assessment,
    services and guidance to food industries

27
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Outreach Programs in MENA
Countries
  • Zayed University, College of Family Sciences,
    UAE
  • partnered with Dubai Municipality to establish
    the first UAE International Food Safety and
    Sanitation Professional Development Program.
  • train Emirati employees in food safety and
    sanitation, technical writing, and research and
    presentation skills
  • United Arab Emirates University Department of
    Food Science, UAE
  • offer short courses for Food Inspectors
  • services to the food industry

28
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Food Safety Outreach Programs in MENA
Countries
  • Sultan Qaboos University, Food Science and
    Nutrition Department, Sultanate of Oman
  • Assist to develop standards for raw milk, dates
    and fermented products
  • Ain Shams University, Department of Food Science,
    Egypt
  • a specialized unit for training of food employees
    of food sectors on quality in food production and
    food safety

29
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Future Roles and Recommendations for Food
Safety Programs in MENA Countries
  • Assist in preparing the MENA Countries for the
    upcoming challenges
  • Testing and certification of irradiated foods,
    food derived from GMOs (imports and exports)
  • Traceability
  • Organic food
  • Provisions of scientific risk assessment

30
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Future Roles and Recommendations for Food
Safety Programs in MENA Countries
  • Get involved in
  • Raising awareness among policy and
    decision-makers about the importance of food
    safety and quality for consumer protection, food
    trade and economic development.
  • Carry out seminars, workshops and communication
    campaigns (senior government officials, food
    industry, the media and consumer associations)

31
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Future Roles and Recommendations for Food
Safety Programs in MENA Countries
  • Develop more effective education strategies that
    are based on global and regional experiences in
    the food sector.
  • Partner with industry to fund applied and basic
    research and outreach programs to reduce
    foodborne disease
  • Provide frequent training on food safety systems
    including Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs),
    Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP),
    and International Standards Organization (ISO
    22000).
  • Encourage collaborations and participation among
    commodity organizations, processors, industry
    consultants and food safety assurance
    coordinators.

32
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Future Roles and Recommendations for Food
Safety Programs in MENA Countries
  • Involve the WHO collaborating centers (the
    Nutrition and Food Science Department at AUB )
    and the WHO Regional offices with the Department
    of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases
    (FOS) to activate and support regional food
    safety research in order to ensure a safer global
    food supply.
  • More partnerships should be formed among
    government/academia/industry at the state and
    regional level
  • More research and education is needed into the
    ecology of foodborne pathogens

33
Role of Universities in Food Safety and
Quality Future Roles and Recommendations for Food
Safety Programs in MENA Countries
  • The ultimate benefit to food safety education
    will be with an integrated approach (research,
    teaching and outreach)
  • It graduates students who will be more diverse,
    better qualified, and able to extend and model
    this collaborative teaching and research theme
    throughout their careers (Jaykus and Ward 1999)
  • The role of academic institutions is to provide a
    qualified, creative labor force that will make
    important contributions to food safety in the
    years to come

"Most often, the prevention of food-borne
illnesses comes through education and safe
handling practices in the preparation of food,"
(Secretary Ed Schafer, USDA)
34
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