International Food Safety Conference, July 30-31


The Food Hygiene Bureau (FHB) will be hosting Jamaica’s Fourth International Food Safety Conference, July 30-31 at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston.
Dubbed ‘Food Safety and Security…the Future’, the two-day event will feature international and world reknown food safety experts, who will bring together a wealth of knowledge and information on the latest and best practices in these areas.
“We are looking at our (Jamaica’s) future, where is our food supply going, what sort of food security do we need to put in place, how powerful are the consumers in all of this and how the Government can help to protect the food supply through its various policies?” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the FHB, Marva Hewitt-Heaven told JIS News.
Mrs. Hewitt-Heaven explained that the overall goal of the conference is to provide meaningful dialogue among the key stakeholders in the region, for a better understanding of the threats to the Caribbean’s food supply and to find solutions.
“This conference is timely, as it comes at a time when the world is battling with pandemics such as the H1N1 virus, SARs and HIV/AIDS. The region must become more proactive, vigilant and leaders in the field of improving food safety standards, infectious outbreaks, surveillance and prevention programmes,” the CEO pointed out.
As a result, the conference will facilitate discussions on several topics including: new technologies; management systems; health and safety in schools; outbreak control in the hotel sector; food security and nutrition; and allergens and labelling.
“We are targeting all the sectors, particularly the food industry, the tourism sector, the day care and residential care homes, nurseries, tertiary students, business persons, farmers, food processors, restaurants, educational establishments and statutory agencies. It is an excellent event for all consumers to come and educate themselves and get first hand information,” Mrs. Hewitt-Heaven said.
There will be several local and international speakers, who are experts in the various sectors targeted for the conference. International speakers include: Environmental Health Practitioner, Dr. Lisa Ackerley; Founder and Owner of Environ Health Associates, Roy Costa; Environmental Health Specialist, Richard Sprenger; and Consultant to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), Dr. Esteban Delgado.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett; Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton; Director of Health Promotion in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Eva Fuller; and Environmental Health Advisor of Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Homero Silva are among the local speakers.
The conference is scheduled to run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on both days. Registration cost is US$50 (approximately J$4,500) for students with ID; US$80 (J$7,200) for farmers and civil servants with ID; US$95(approximately J$8,550) for all other sectors, and a 10 per cent discount rate for groups of four or more persons.
Persons may register online at www.foodhygienebureau.org or call the FHB at 876-755-1185.
The Food Hygiene Bureau (FHB) was established in 1999 as a private sector organization to educate consumers and the food industry about best practices in food safety, hygiene, and occupational health and safety.

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