Food safety in country governed via inter-ministry cooperation

|     Rokiah Mahmud     |

FOOD safety in the country is monitored via cooperation between ministries and agencies, Minister of Energy, Manpower and Industry Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein said at the 15th Legislative Council meeting yesterday.

The Quality Control and Food Safety Division, Ministry of Health, regulates local products and products imported through the Public Health Act (Food) Section 182, while the entry of imported raw materials is regulated by the Public Health (Food) Regulations, Biosecurity Division of the Department of Agriculture and Agrifoods, Biosecurity Division of the Fisheries Department.

Standard aspects of food safety are also supported by the National Standards Centre, Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry.

Currently, there is a system of “traceability” of the food through standards such as the ‘Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point’ (HACCP) or ISO 22000:2015 – Food Safety Management System, and through unique identifiers under the Global Standard One (GS1) barcode system. This system allows for the tracking, tracing and identification of the products and their placement.

The minister also highlighted that thus far, there are 153 local companies registered with GS1 Brunei Darussalam. GS1, a non-profit headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, is an agency that serves as a platform providing “real-time” product information and tracking for consumers, operators, suppliers and sellers in a global supply chain and value chain.

Initiatives taken to encourage and facilitate export activities include programmes and work-shops that provide advisory services on international certifications such as Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and ISO for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other companies.