Microbiological testing of food in Suriname
A laboratory training mission was carried out in Paramaribo, Surinam, in March and April 2014. The main part of the mission consisted of a practical training in the microbiological testing of foods for staff from laboratories involved in official food controls. The training contributed to a better knowledge of food microbiology in Suriname and especially to better possibilities for testing the microbiological safety and quality of food available on the Surinam market.
The overall purpose of the project is to focus on laboratory strengthening and training of government staff of competent authorities and of private food business operators to be in conformity with EU and WTO-SPS regulations such as OIE, Codex Alimentarius, and IPPC regulations.
During the practical training food samples taken from shops and markets were tested for the presence and numbers of ‘indicator organisms’ and bacteria that may cause foodborne illness. The tests were performed following ISO standard methods and the results were analysed for compliance with EU Regulations. The training further included presentations and discussions on different aspects of food microbiology, such as ‘Characteristics of pathogenic bacteria (Salmonella, pathogenic E. coli, Campylobacter, Vibrio, Listeria, etc.)’, ‘Microbiological criteria for foods’ and ‘Quality assurance of microbiological examinations’. This theoretical part of the training was followed by a wider group of interested people from governmental institutions, industries and university. In short, new diagnostic techniques were introduced and trained and the lab was further prepared for accreditation. VeteffecT has had a significant role in helping to improve the laboratory, by providing training and technical assistance for present and new staff.
EDES aims to secure the flow of food products of animal and plant origin towards the EU or at regional level, in particular by making small-scale growers in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries key actors within the supply chain. COLEACP (Le Comité de liaison Europe-Afrique-CaraïbesPacifique), in cooperation with a consortium of European food safety agencies, has been entrusted by the European Union with the implementation of the EDES Programme.