BAHRAIN could soon host a regional lab
aimed at improving food safety in Gulf countries. It is part of a major
campaign being discussed at a meeting of Gulf port food officials, which
opened in Dubai
It reviewed the
allocation of different ports in the Gulf for specific tests for the whole
region, said Health Ministry's food hygiene head Abdulla Baqer.
"Our food lab in Bahrain is
ideal for microbiological tests on meat, chicken and fish," he said.
"Once a lab is
assigned for a specific test, we shall consider it as a regional lab."
The official is
accompanied by Bahrain
ports' food imports chief Faisal Dhaif at the Dubai meeting.
"We are studying
which Gulf country's lab is suitable for a specific test so that the same
test will not be repeated in other ports," Mr
Baqer told the GDN, speaking from Dubai.
"We have already
carried out some preliminary studies and identified some labs for certain
"For example, the Dubai municipal
laboratory is ideal for microtoxin tests.
"This test on food
items like potatoes is important to prevent the prevalence of cancer
He said a lab in the northern
port of Saudi Arabia was equipped to carry
out tests for pesticide residue in food, especially fruits and vegetables.
issued by one Gulf country will be accepted by the other country," he
The decision will prove
a great boon to exporters, added Mr Baqer.
"They can send
their food item first to the Gulf state which has the facility for carrying
out the required tests," he said.
"It will save time
and costs involved.
"The move will also
help us to use more manpower for inspection purposes." Mr Baqer said the new project
would come into force by the first quarter of next year.