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Wed 10 Dec 2008 04:00 AM

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Food safety should be region’s top priority

The Middle East's F&B outlets must focus on health and safety training for staff if they are to survive in the increasingly competitive market, one industry professional has stated.

The Middle East's F&B outlets must focus on health and safety training for staff if they are to survive in the increasingly competitive market, one industry professional has stated.

George Parackal, senior consultant at one of the region's biggest food consultancy firms ABT Consulting, said improving the food safety chain of knowledge was vital to the future of the Middle East's F&B market.

Parackal marked out Abu Dhabi as setting an excellent example to the rest of the region, through the widespread implementation of HAACP and ISO 2000 satndards in the emirate.

"These are very important qualifiations for any food industry; it doesn't matter if its food storage, food preparation or food distribution - food safety should be fundamentally ingrained," Parackal said.

"There must be a balancing act between both the software and hardware, but the really important thing is ensuring that people are being trained in the right perceptions, proposals and methodology of food safety."

Parackal added that paying attention to extras such as flooring, walls and distribution trucks needed to be given "just as much care as the training of staff".

"There's no point is solving the problems in just one part of a business," he pointed out. "That's why we give outlets, factories and so on a total solution, so we can really make an impact on the company's total structure."

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