Jul 23, 2015

International Symposium on Food Safety 16 July 2015

International Symposium on Food Safety
The Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Mauritius has hosted a one day International Symposium in Food Safety in collaboration with the SELAMAT (Safety enhancement of Edible products, Legislation, Analysis and Management) consortium on the 16 July 2015. The event was sponsored by SELAMAT, University of Mauritius, Tertiary Education Commission, SKC Foods Ltd, Food and Allied Group, Les Moulins de La Concorde, Change Act and Phoenix Beverages Ltd.
The SELAMAT coordinators for organising the workshop were Dr Hans Marvin and Mr Piet Stouten, RKILT, Netherlands. And the local organising committee consisted of staff of the Faculty and was chaired by the local SELAMAT coordinator, Assoc. Prof. D.Goburdhun.

Opening Ceremony 
The keynote address was given by Dr Masami Takeuchi from the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Symposium was opened by the Chancellor of the University of Mauritius Dr Jean Claude Autrey. The Dean of the Faculty, Prof Sunita Facknath gave an overview of the role of the Faculty of Agriculture in Food Science and Technology. Dr Masami Takeuchiho made a presentation on the importance of knowing the provenance of our food. To ensure a healthy diet , the application of standards and regulations must be made at every stage of production by the authorities she said. According to Assoc Prof D.Goburdhun, there is really no cases of severe food poisoning in Mauritius, in comparison to other countries, but the consumers have a crucial role to play in maintaining food safety. Representatives of NGOs and professionals from public and private sectors also attended the symposium.

   The Faculty of Agriculture
The Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Mauritius has celebrated its centenary in 2014 and has always been proactive and strived to align its programmes of studies with the emerging needs of the Agricultural and Food sector in Mauritius. As early as 1997, the Faculty launched its full fledged undergraduate programmme in Food Science; thereafter B.Sc (Hons) in Food Science and Technology with different specializations such as Food Safety, Seafood Technology, B.Sc (Hons) in Food Safety and Quality, MSc Food Science, MSc Food Technology and PhD in Food Science programmes have been regularly offered. Several research projects pertaining to value addition, food safety, food and health and product development have been carried out by academic staff and students. The Faculty has also organized workshops in the area of Food Science and Technology such as Risk Analysis in food safety.

The SELAMAT consortium
The SELAMAT (Safety enhancement of Edible products, Legislation, Analysis and Management) consortium is a unique partnership of science-based organisations or other organisations established in Asia and the EU, and aims at working together in the area of food safety on activities of mutual benefit. The main partners are the Netherlands, Portugal, Malaysia, Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, China, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, Nigeria, South Africa. The University of Mauritius(Faculty of Agriculture) has been accepted as a member of the SELAMAT food safety consortium in 2014.

The Symposium
The symposium held on the 16th July 2015 brought together food safety experts to share the latest developments in the area. There were 19 international delegates from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Portugal, Republic of China, Russia, Nigeria and South Africa and 113 local participants including the public and private sectors, academia, consumer organisation and independent consultants. It was also a good opportunity for participants and delegates to network and discuss with their peers n their topics of interest in food safety. The SELAMAT also held their annual meeting on the 17th July 2015 at Le Meridien Hotel, Mauritius.

8 topics were discussed by a host of international and local speakers on topics ranging from risk assessment and global best practices to emerging trends in managing food safety. The book of abstracts can be accessed here. There were 10 international speakers and moderators from the following institutions.

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