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Precon trains food safety monitors

January 16, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

In line with their aim to improve food safety in the country and promote food export to European countries, Precon Food Management, a leading food safety company in the world with headquarters in Holland, yesterday ended a training session for over 30 food safety monitors.

Speaking during the training at the Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay, Mohamed Salim Kamara, a Precon consultant, said the company was hired by government, through the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, to add value to fish production and help secure license for fish export to European countries.

He said the project was designed to boost standard practice in the fisheries sector to enable Sierra Leone become a supplier of healthy fish to consumers in the country and in export markets, especially countries in the European Union.

Kamara said the goal of the project was to empower stakeholders in the fisheries sector in Sierra Leone and to satisfy international standards, EU import requirements and contribute to the world fish market.

He said the trainees were chosen from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and Ministry of Health and Sanitation, adding that the training would be conducted in two phases.

According to Kamara, Sierra Leone could only acquire an EU export license if EU standard   requirements were satisfied, adding that one way to meet the requirements was to train inspectors who would monitor hygiene in fishing companies.

“You know the country was exporting fish to European countries before the war and after the war the country was stopped from exporting food to these countries because the value of food dropped, that is why the government hired Precon Food Management to help in adding value to fish in the country,” he said.

He added that Precon is in Sierra Leone for a period of three years to help the government improve food safety mechanisms in the fishery supply chain, adding that a food safety legislation would be introduced to meet international food safety standards.

A trainee from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Benrina Kanu, said she was happy to be part of the training as it had increased her knowledge of food safety monitoring, thus pledging to provide proper monitoring in the sector to enhance food safety and meet the necessary EU requirement.

Precon has been contracted by government to enhance food safety in the fisheries supply chain, while a food safety legislation is expected to be introduced to meet international food safety standards.

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