Briefing on roles, functions of Brunei’s food authority

James Kon

The Brunei Darussalam Food Authority (BDFA) is committed to maintaining the culinary standards in the country as well as protecting consumer safety. BDFA will take firm action against those who do not support raising the standards and quality of food in the country.

Senior Health Officer Siti Khadizah binti Haji Abdul Latip shared this in her presentation on BDFA during a briefing at the Theatre Hall of the Ministry of Finance and Economy yesterday.

BDFA, as a statutory agency overseeing all matters related to food safety, is also currently engaging stakeholders before implementing its regulations in phases.

She said among the laws and regulations that support BDFA’s functions are: Brunei Darussalam Food Authority Order 2020; and Chapter 182 of the Public Health (Food) Act including Public Health (Food) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, Wholesome Meat Order (2011) comprising of Wholesome Meat Order (Amendment) 2020, Wholesome Meat (Slaughter Centre) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, Wholesome Meat (Transportation) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 and Wholesome Meat (Import, Export and Transshipment) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

Siti Khadizah said, Chapter 182 of the Public Health (Food) Act is a regulation to ensure that food premises maintain safety standards, good hygiene and cleanliness on imported or locally-produced food products.

ABOVE & BELOW: Participants at the briefing; and Senior Health Officer Siti Khadizah binti Haji Abdul Latip delivers her presentation. PHOTOS: JAMES KON

Meanwhile, the Wholesome Meat Order (2011) is a law directing companies to follow the proper procedures when slaughtering animals or when processing, packaging, importing, distributing, selling, delivering and exporting of meat and meat products.

The Wholesome Meat (Slaughter Centre) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 ensures slaughterhouses are well maintained to safeguard the health and wellbeing of livestock while ensuring animals do not carry diseases and are fit for consumption.

A proper supply chain maintenance, inspection of transport containers for cleanliness and hygiene to prevent cross contamination of meat and meat products, sampling of meat products to ensure is as per labelled and fit for consumption and prevent sale and distribution of meat found to be contaminated or adulterated are enacted under the Wholesome Meat (Transportation) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

These laws, she said, will “allow BDFA to establish a strong food safety system; ensure food importation, production, processing and exportation meet the standards and requirements; monitor and inspect, test and certify food or premises, issue certifications, licences and permits, facilitate and assist all involved with food to meet the standards required; and incur penalties to non-compliant businesses”.

The briefing was part of the BDFA’s initiative to promote its roles and functions. The food and beverages industry, including importers, manufacturers, exporters, and retailers as well as representatives from micro, small and medium enterprises, and the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Brunei Darussalam, government and non-government agencies participated.

A similar briefing was also held for 80 officials and representatives from 20 government agencies and other relevant authority and statutory boards at the Civil Service Institute.