THE NATIONAL FOOD SAFETY COMPLIANCE PROGRAMME
The Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division (FSPID) of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce is mandated under the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation (FSPID) Act (1958) and Regulations (1973) to ensure the safety and wholesomeness of all food/feeds - from harvest through to retailing - which are destined for commerce.
In keeping with this mandate, the FSPID launched the National Food Safety Compliance Programme (NFSCP) in May 2008. The primary objectives are to prevent and mitigate the risks associated with the storage and ultimately the consumption of food. This is done through increased inspections and monitoring of all food storage, processing and distribution facilities with the subsequent issuance of certificates to entities found to be in compliance with the FSPI Act and Regulations. With the increase in globalization and competition on the world market, the NFSCP also seeks to maintain the integrity of all food/feeds destined for export. This programme is being carried out island wide and is reviewed periodically to determine effectiveness.
In order for the programme to be effective in achieving its mission, the NFSCP consists of two phases which run concurrently. These phases are:
1. Regulation and Compliance;
2. Public Education and Outreach.
The Regulation and Compliance phase entails:
(a) changes to existing legislation;
(b) increased inspection and sampling;
(c) analyses conducted the FSPID’s laboratories;
(d) issuance of compliance certificates.
The Public Education and Outreach phase serves to increase consumer awareness and provide pertinent information. This phase includes:
(c) use of the media – radio, television, print, etc.
The target groups are:
(c) food processing, packaging and storage facilities;
(d) other food related facilities;
For the successful accomplishment of this phase, the approach is one of teamwork and collaboration with private sector organizations (food and food related) as well as other related Government agencies as necessary.
If consumers are to be confident that their food is wholesome and safe for consumption, both the Government and private sector need to collaborate in research, training, sharing of information and public education.