Country’s big challenge to ensure safe food

12 September 2022

Staff Reporter  :
Bangladesh is on the pathway to food autarky, but the country's major challenge is delivering of safe food for all.
Voices are always heard for ensuring safe food for maintaining people's health because unsafe and unhygienic food always pose a serious threat to the health of the nation.
However, the government is planning to set up food laboratories in eight divisions across the country for ensuring hygienic food in the market.
Underscoring the need for ensuring safe food, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said, "I don't want to consider the unsafe food as foodstuff. The food which causes disease cannot be food."
While addressing  the inaugural ceremony of "Food and Chemical Lab Expo, 2022" in the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital, he said, only the production of safe food can create the scope for exports because of its credibility.
He also stressed the need for laboratory test to ensure safe food because the food can be unsafe from the production level to the consumers' tables.
Emphasising the need for public awareness, the minister said, "Only enforcement of law or fine cannot bring any solution to food safety. Those who are exporting processed foods should be aware of food safety."
"We still could not hold a position in the world market in the context of safe food. If the laboratories are not sufficient, people will not be able to test the food. The government is working here to make it available. In order to test the quality of food, the government has a plan to set up laboratories in all eight divisions," he noted.
The government has decided to set up laboratories in the eight divisions across the country, he said adding that there will be eight mobile van labs and an agreement has been signed with JAICA for setting up international standard testing lab.
Food Secretary Md Ismail Hossain said, "Everyone has to play its role to ensure safe food. We have spread the facilities among the 165 million people. A concerned effort is necessary for it."  He is expecting to set up safe food laboratory in the divisional level soon.
Senior Secretary of Ministry of Science and Technology Ziaul Hasan said, "This expo will act as bond with different stakeholders. Bangladesh Trade Facilitation is directly connected with us. So we need a close coordination."
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself has much concern about food and food safety, he added.
Among others, Chairman of Safe Food Authority Md Abdul Kaiyum Sarkar presided over the meeting while US Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangladesh was also present.
After the inaugural session, the minister visited a number of stalls. A total of 44 labs from the government, academic and private level have participated in the expo.
The organisers said that the expo will create awareness among people and increase the connectivity among the stakeholders.

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