Second Oman Food Safety Conference Takes Food Safety Under The Spotlight

Within the Sultanate's line of efforts to promote the necessity of safe food practices for manufacturers and consumers, the Second Oman Food Safety Conference began yesterday at Al Bustan Palace - A Ritz Carlton Hotel under the auspices of Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, and Muscat Municipality.

The conference attempts at creating food safety system of food companies with reliability, enhancing effective government supervision and gain public support to improve food safety and security. Through plenary sessions and cross-sectoral dialogues, the annual conference is designed to produce concrete outcomes and maintain a secure and safe food supply in the Sultanate and the region.

Day One of the conference hosted a distinctive gathering of industry experts including Saoud bin Nasser bin Mansoor Al Khusaibi, Director General -Standards & Metrology, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, who highlighted the importance of standards and specifications for the consumers, industry and international trade. Additionally, Hon. Prof. Dr. Helmut Glattes, Member of the Board, ISEKI Food Association (IFA), Austria, spoke about ISEKI Food Association initiatives and roles with special emphasis to the Middle East.

The first day of the conference featured a prestigious line-up of renowned speakers and industry experts including:

  • Robert MacLean, principal, National Hospitality Institute (NHI);
  • Emeritus professor Ken Buckle, Food Science and Technology Group, The University of New South Wales;
  • Dr. Mustafa A. Gassem, executive director of the Laboratory General Authority, Saudi Food & Drug Authority (Food Sector);
  • Professor Eunice Taylor, Food Safety Policy Specialist, Policy & Regulation Sector, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority;
  • Dr. Idris Al Obaidani, head of the communicable Disease Surveillance and Control, Ministry of Health.

Besides, the conference hosts two panel discussions comprising leading figures from the industry. Chaired by Robert MacLean, principal, National Hospitality Institute (NHI), the day-one panel discussion emphasized on: "Advancing Food Safety through Collaboration". The panelist of the discussion included Ahmed Al Raisi, Asst. Director for Public Health Researches, Muscat Municipality; Haitham Khalfan Al Akhzami, Director of Food Monitoring, Ministry of Regional Municipalities & Water Resources; Saleh Mahmood Al Zadjali, Director of Standards & Specifications, Ministry of Commerce and Industry; Professor Eunice Taylor Food Safety Policy Specialist, Policy & Regulation Sector, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority. The discussion underlined techniques on how to improve the food safety systems in Oman and highlighted opportunities for collaboration with countries implementing the best food safety systems.

The conference concluded on Tuesday with presentations on Person In-Charge Programme; Successful Food Safety Management for SMEs, Project Management of National Food Safety Projects - Best Practices and Lesson Learned; The Importance of Food Safety Media Training; Mindset of Compliance in Nestle; The Role of Veterinary Services in Food Safety; X-RAY from Hospitals to the Food Industry; Chemical Contaminants in Seafood and its implication on Public Health; Storage and Transporting Food Products - Ensuring Food Safety; and Effect of Anti-Microbial Dates Vinegar.

Organized by Oman International Trade & Exhibitions (OITE), the Second Oman Food Safety Conference 2011 aims at creating practical and action-focused conversations that would eventually produce insights, information and action ideas useful to the food safety industry experts. The conference gathers rich assortment of industry experts and speakers who would facilitate learning across different perceptions, disciplines and experience associated with food industry.

It should be noted that Nestle Middle East FZE is the Main Sponsor of the event; Socat LLC and Charted Institute of Environmental Health are the Gold Sponsors; Areej Vegetable Oil & Derivatives SAOG, Renaissance Services and Tawoos Agriculture are the Silver Sponsors; Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) is the Session sponsor; AA Group of Catering Companies is the Lanyard Sponsor; and Al Madina Logistics is the Food Logistics Partner.