The Qatar Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and the UK Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera Science), have signed an agreement to promote scientific and technical cooperation on food safety and environmental health.
The agreement was signed by Public Health Department Director Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani on behalf of MoPH, and by Mr. Nicholas Boucher, head of the Science and Innovation Network, British Embassy in Doha, representing Fera Science.
The agreement sets out a framework for enhanced cooperation in food safety research, especially in food contaminant and risk management analyses of animal products, specialized tests of unforeseen toxins, food fraud detection techniques, dissemination of scientific research and development results and professional consultancy services in food safety and environmental health.
“The signing of the agreement with Fera Science comes within the framework of the MoPH’s keenness to apply the best international standards and practices in the field of food safety, including laboratory services, risk analysis, control standards development, supervision and regulation. It also serves the implementation of the Qatar Public Health Strategy 2017-2022 and the National Health Strategy 2018-2022. The agreement will also support the response of Qatar’s MoPH to food safety and environmental health emergencies.”
Under the agreement, FERA will contribute to supporting training services, food safety laboratory competence assessment, screening of certain food samples for pathogens, as well as food quality and safety advisory services and risk analysis.
It will also conduct joint laboratory experiments to enhance the accuracy of laboratory test results, develop and deploy new techniques to support inspection capabilities for imported food consignments, as well as share other expertise on many food safety systems and strategies and laboratory analyses.
Dr. Andrew Swift, CEO of Fera Science said that, “We are pleased to sign this important agreement with the MoPH in Qatar with the aim to develop and strengthen fruitful cooperation between the two sides, especially in promoting the quality and safety of food and environmental health in general or during major sporting events and particularly the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, based on our previous experiences at the 2012 London Olympics.”