The Mobile Lab will also be used to check food contamination, particularly the processed foods.
The European Union Ambassador to Pakistan Dr. Riina Kionka handed over the keys of a mobile food-testing laboratory to the Sindh Food Authority on Tuesday.
The Mobile Lab was given as part of the Growth for Rural Advancement and Sustainable Progress (GRASP) project, funded by the European Union, and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC).
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Riina Kionka said, “The EU is one of the main donors working to improve the food quality in Sindh. We see food safety not only as important for public health perspective, but also economically.”
“Safe quality products open up access to new and premium markets for the agriculture sector,” she said.
The handing over of the food testing lab was result of following an assessment of the Food Authorities of Sindh and Balochistan in 2020, in which GRASP identified the need to provide mobile food testing facilities to both provinces to help support the implementation of food safety standards and overall quality assurance of food items being supplied to markets.
As part of its duties, the van will also be used to check for food contamination to ensure, in particular, processed foods are free from undeclared ingredients, they are accurately labeled and are compliant with relevant food safety standards and rules. Equipped with a suite of testing technology, along with its crew of technicians, the van will provide the experts on the spot scientific expertise to help support both consumer confidence, but also the public health. Through GRASP, officials of the Sindh Food Authority have also been trained on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) compliance issues in relation to requirement for wider market access, including potential international exports, in addition to supporting and reviewing regulatory and operational frameworks of the authority, towards its overall strengthening and operational capacity.
Sindh Minister for Food Mukesh Kumar Chawla while speaking said that the mobile food testing lab will definitely help SFA to perform its functions more effectively.
The ceremony was held at Director General ET & NC Office, attended by Secretary Food Raja Khurram Shehzad Umer, DG SFA Imran Bhatti and other officers. (PR)