Health, National, News

South Sudan launches food safety body

By Emelda Siama John Lopula

South Sudan government has established food safety body to monitor the quality of all imported and locally produced food in the country.

Food Safety Association South Sudan (FASS) was launched on Thursday 11th May 2023, in Juba, under the theme, “safe food today for healthy tomorrow.”

The body will monitor, train and sensitize food producers, vendors and consumers on hygienic food safety best practices, food standards, quality seeds, and crop disease control and management.

It will partner with National Bureau of Standards, to reinforce food safety and food standards in the country.

FSASS will also train micro, small, and medium sized enterprises across the ten states and three administrative areas, with support from European Union through the International Trade Center (ITC).

Speaking during the launch, ITC National Consultant for food safety and quality, Neima Samson said the idea of the association comes from Quality Management System (QMS) Development and enforcement of standard and technical regulation.

“Every year worldwide, unsafe food causes 600 million cases of foodborne diseases and 420,000 deaths. 30 percent of foodborne deaths occur among children under 5years of age” Neima said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that about 33 million healthy lives are lost due to eating unsafe food globally each year, and this number is likely an underestimation.

According to Neima, food safety is the absence of safe, acceptable level of hazards in food that may harm the health of consumers.

Food-borne hazards can be microbiological, chemical bacteria, viruses or pesticide residues or physical in nature and are often invisible to the plain eyes.

Neima noted that food safety was a shared responsibility between government, private sectors and consumers.

“Everybody has a role to play from farms to table to ensure the food you consume is safe and will not cause damages to our health, she added.

Neima stressed that to improve food safety in the country, “South Sudan requires investing in several areas, from stronger policy, standard, regulation to better laboratories, more stringent surveillance and better training and education on food safety.”

Meanwhile the Chairperson of food safety Association, Robert Mathew stated that the Association would be a vehicle to provide an opportunity to reinforce food safety Advisors, ownership of skills and practices to adopt and provide a complete set of materials to developed, during the project.

“Food safety association will also focus on the development of food safety advocacy and public awareness program from production to consumption,” Mathew added.


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