Health Minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya says food safety is essential in protecting the public against health hazards as well as fraud in the production, manufacture, sale and use of food.
The Minister said this when he presented a brief policy statement on the food safety bill 2019 which passed second reading in Parliament yesterday.
He said the bill would also seek to strengthen food safety control systems in the country.
“The bill seeks to provide for a streamlined process for regulatory health clearances and regulatory health clearances and regulatory health requirements for food premises,” he said.
Furthermore, the Minister said the bill provides for the establishment of the food safety coordinating committee that will galvernise efforts by key players and provide for its functions and powers.
He also said the bill provides for appointment of authorized officers from various government departments to carry out health inspections throughout the country and to facilitate for the issuance of Health inspection reports and report notices.
“In addition, the bill establishes the national food laboratory which will be responsible for examining, analyzing and conducting research to determine the quality, efficacy and safety of food,” he said.
The national food laboratory shall also strengthen analytical services to ensure risk based surveillance for integrated national systems for food safety in order to enhance public health security in the country.
Dr. Chilufya said Safe food begins at production and continues through the preparation process up to consumption.
Government is working closely with stakeholders to develop the food safety bill which will be imperative in promoting public health, preventing fraud and deception, evading food adulteration as well as facilitating trade.
The Patriotic Front Government under the able stewardship of His Excellency, Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu has pitched the health of the citizens as a key economic investment and is working tirelessly towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage, leaving no one behind. An agenda which food safety will play a key role in realizing.