There is a need for a food preservation framework in improving the method of hygiene and quality management of animal-sourced foods within Vanuatu.
Valerie Kalopong, Meat Inspector of the Department of Biosecurity on Santo has returned from her two months training in Obihiro, Japan, beginning from February 25th to April 25th 2019, after undergoing courses sponsored by JICA on local industry development through the enhancement of hygiene and quality management for animal-sourced food such as milk, meat and egg.
While there are some modernised facilities paying attention to hygiene and quality management, our country on the contrary, as Ms Kalopong stated, “lacks the facilities and equipment required within our Livestock Department”.
During the JICA Knowledge Co-Creation Program, participants have had the opportunities to endure in lectures including field studies and discussions.
Ms Kalopong shared her experiences as an informative learning journey, with the sole purpose of appreciating the concept of food hygiene and quality control, understanding the advanced technology of food production and quality management, understanding the food safety concept and lastly, to formulate an action plan in improving work performance in her own department on Santo.
“To making sure, we consume quality food from farm to fork,” she added
Ms Kalopong says the training has improved her knowledge in Quality Product, Food Safety and Food Risk.
“In various levels of Organisations, there are some aspects that need to be resolved.
“The Government has yet to revise Meat Regulation Laws, to run Meat Test Programs for ASF products and gap/overlap Food Laws.
“In the level of processing, there is poor sanitation of meat hygiene and environment, our country has no HACCP standard, the Quality Control System is weak as well as the Food Hazard Monitoring System.
“In terms of production level, we have a weak traceability system, with unhealthy livestock shipped to the abattoir and Unidentified livestock with veterinary treatment.”
Ms Kalopong stressed the importance of meat inspections is to be aware of hazards which can have serious adverse effects on meat quality if exposed to such toxins.
“To ensure a safeguarded and healthy livelihood, we must improve food safety standards, increase quality and safe products, increase market opportunities, motivate increase in production sectors, improve training/awareness programs and decrease import products with risks of ASF.”
The JICA course program focuses on food hygiene and quality control in the production process of animal-sourced foods, after slaughter/milking stages. It targeted livestock such as cattle, pigs and poultry.
Ms Kalopong thanked JICA for its support in funding the training program, giving participants the opportunity to find useful knowledge in Japanese society and re-create this knowledge for enhancement of their own capacity in the organisation they represent.