The Egyptian Food Safety Authority is exerting significant efforts to improve the qualifications of its new inspection team, which is responsible for monitoring the quality of various kinds of foods in Egypt, said chairperson of the authority, Hussein Mansour, at a press conference organised by the Canadian Business Council (CBC) on Wednesday evening.
“We will be the only official authority that monitors the quality of foods in the Egyptian market, instead of the seven governmental units that used to supervise food safety,” added Mansour, noting that the authority cares about staff’s commitment to ethics.
The Food Safety Authority suffers a shortage of qualified employees who can supervise food activities in all governorates. However, it is working on building an incorrupt team with good knowledge of the necessarry monitoring criteria, said Mansour.
“The problem that our limited team faced lately, during monitoring tours, is that companies always try to corrupt them because they have been used to doing that for years,” Mansour said, adding that he received a letter of gratitude from some companies because they felt the sincerity of the food inspectors.
“We plan to digitise the monitoring system. Now we have 1,200 tablets and we are preparing a new software, but unfortunately, we do not have a sufficient number of staff that can make the needed monitoring tours,” noted Mansour.
“We have the option to choose senior food inspectors who were working for other monitoring authorities, but we prefer to choose new employees without bad habits,” said Mansour.
Food specifications used to be optional until the 1990s, similar to the rest of the world, then the government made all specifications obligatory, added Mansour, noting that the Food Safety Authority issues only 50 obligatory specifications rules.
The monitoring tours will be random after previously being at pre-determined times to ensure abiding by the obligatory rules, added Mansour.
In July 2017, Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil announced the establishment of the Food Safety Authority’s board, headed by Hussein Mansour, with a three-year mandate from the issuing of the decision.