An International Trade Centre (ITC) Consultant on Food Safety, Margaret Kola, told a just-ended workshop on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) for entrepreneurs which was held in dare s Salaam to discuss international food standard requirements.
She said entrepreneurs need to ensure raw materials are inspected and are safe before processing to avoid heath risks.
According to her, entrepreneurs need to put the knowledge they obtained into practice as this will enable them to comply with international standards and obtain Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification.
“Just look - you have unique spices, honey and mangoes which can earn you a huge market across the East Africa region and overseas. Follow HACCP requirements for what you produce and you will witness the benefit of this training,” she said.
She said that in a bid to ensure they benefit from what they produce and meet HACCP requirements, ITC experts will continue to visit each company and there will be trainers-cum-counsellors who will monitor implementation of the systems.
Also will visit them to witness if they have begun to conduct internal verification in their food production systems, Food Hygiene requirements and other issues relating to food safety.
Presently 20 owners and senior managers from 10 selected enterprises producing honey, mango and spices from Dar es salaam and up-country have been trained on Food Hygiene Practices and Food safety systems based on HACCP in world trade.
“ITC has decided to embark on this programme after identified that the performance of several small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Tanzania is badly affected by lack of adequate skills in quality and food safety management,” she said
Apart from that Industries fail to spent money to train staff in quality and food safety assurance and to access expertise at affordable cost.
According to her, HACCP is an effective tool to prevent contamination of food (biological, chemical and physical and was developed to prevent food safety incidents and protect human from healthy hazards caused by food consumption.
Food safety is assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared or eaten according to its intended use.
According to her, this is a new programme designed to support senior management of honey, spices, and mango industry supplying to domestic market and exporting.
To start with, ITC has selected three sectors from 10 selected enterprises.
Elaborating on the criteria which was used to select 10 enterprises producing mango, spices and honey, across the country she said , before they organized the said training they visited in different areas in Dar es salam and up-country to witness the SMEs activities.
“Our criteria was based on if he/she has premises for production or operating, registered the premises, it is qualified for registration, commitment from the entrepreneur or the enterprise, and other issues,“ she said.
During their visit they got 10 enterprises which qualified and expressed interest in participating in the whole ITC programme on HACCP. This will be used to help enterprises locally in the country as they will be aware of international requirements on food safety.