The FAO Food Safety Project of Bangladesh has completed refurbishment of 7000 sq. ft. of laboratory space on the premises of the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Mohakhali situated in Dhaka,the capital of Bangladesh.The facilities has been earmarked as the National Food Safety Laboratory (NFSL). To develop the necessary technical capacity for this laboratory, analysts assigned by the IPH have been trained both in Bangladesh and abroad through an intensive capacity building programme. As part of this skill and capability enhancement activity, two expert trainers spent 5 concentrated weeks in training the analysts on the detection of heavy metals and pesticide residues in food.The event was held from May 26 to June 30, 2012.
Dr. Amina Sekaly from Toronto, Canada, international expert in testing for heavy metals in food and by Dr. Anoop Krishnan from the Export Inspection Agency Laboratory, Mumbai, India in the detection of pesticide residues in food imparted the training. The analysts were taught the fundamental principles of spectroscopy and given detailed presentations on sophisticated laboratory equipment used in food analysis such as Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS), Gas Chromatograph (GC), GC coupled with Mass Spectrophotometer (GC-MS) and the High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). They were also provided training on the use and operation of the High Performance Thin Layer Chromatograph (HPTLC) by engineers from the company (CAMAG). The analysts also performed calibration tests for basic laboratory instruments and were trained in the measurement of uncertainty.
The two international experts also trained on laboratory safety and good laboratory practices to encourage and emphasize the development of a strong and safe analytical mindset among the analysts who participated in the training. This contribution was particularly significant as this group is expected to be the core start up team of the NFSL. The training activities were overseen by Dr. Sridhar Dharmapuri, International Food Analysis Expert and Dr. Ashis Ratan Sen, National Food Analysis Advisor, FAO Food safety Project. Dr. Md. Abdur Razzak Miah, Deputy Director of the IPH attended many of the training sessions on behalf of the IPH management.
The feedbacks from the participants were extremely positive. They expressed their appreciation for the two experts for assisting them in enhancing analytical skills and providing insights into the operation of an efficient food safety laboratory. Importantly, the analysts imbibed a lot of confidence from the training program. They anticipated that this will translate into the generation of reliable food safety data as the National Food Safety Laboratory in Dhaka becomes operational.
The FAO Food Safety Project warmly thanked Dr. Sekaly and Dr. Krishnan for conducting a wide-ranging and valuable training programme which may be considered as an important milestone towards the food safety undertaking of Bangladesh.
The news item has been prepared on the basis of report published at the link:http://www.bdfoodsafety.org/inner.php?SubMenuId=6&DetailsId=69 of the Project entitled, ‘Improving Food Safety in Bangladesh’.
The project is jointly supported by the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO-UN) and Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
You may visit the website of the project: http://bdfoodsafety.org/ to learn its activities.