The Department of Human Nutrition, College of Health Sciences member of QU-HEALTH at Qatar University has commenced the new minor in Food Safety.
The main objective of food safety minor is to support Qatar through the education and training of the students who will work to ensure the safety of the foods. This minor will prepare competent graduates, destined to shape the future of the food safety and food industry in Qatar though advanced knowledge and professional competencies that will address the emerging food processes and food safety challenges that comes with the increased population in Qatar and in other countries around the world. Graduates of this minor will also be actively involved in planning and implementing food safety preventive programs targeting national and international emerging food borne illnesses.
Department of Human Nutrition, College of Health Sciences at Qatar University presented an information session on “Minor in Food Safety” in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health, Qatar. More than 70 students attended the session from different colleges in Qatar University.
Dr. Tahra El Obeid, Head of the Department of Human Nutrition, College of Health Sciences, Qatar University and Mrs. Wasan Al Baker, Manager of Food Safety and Environment Health at the Ministry of Public Health were the presenters during this session. The Ministry of Public Health has been working with the department over the past years on the development of a comprehensive curriculum that will provide them with a steady number of health inspectors to support the expanding scope of the food safety system in Qatar.
Dr. Tahra ElObeid explained to the students the importance of food safety to the country. The principal operational objective of the Food Safety minor is to support the Qatar national vision by taking the country’s food industry and food safety administrations to the next level ensuring a long and safe food supply for the current Qatar population and future generations. The curriculum of the minor in Food Safety was designed to cover all these important aspects. All the requirements for joining the minor were discussed in detail. Dr. El-Obeid went on further to describe the educational process that will be based upon a multidisciplinary and interactive approach, through the provision of advanced theory (lectures, seminars, case studies and problem-solving based assignment), and practical demonstration (laboratory based hands on experiences) as well as field training in the different food safety sites.
Mrs. Al Baker stated that food production without continuous training, education and research is not sufficient in controlling food borne illnesses. Food safety personnel need to have solid knowledge on the different aspects of food production and processing in order to understand causes of food-borne illnesses, how to provide accurate risk assessment, policy-risk based management and communication. Mrs. Al Baker went on to present the different sections of Food Safety in the Ministry of Public Health and discussed in details each section and its role in developing and maintaining food safety. The three major sections under Food Safety and Environmental Health are Port Health, Environmental Health, and Central Food Lab. She went on further to describe the on the role of Food safety specialists, inspectors and technologists in the different departments of the ministry, and how they can support the food system in Qatar. Mrs. Al Baker added that the potential employers include the different Ministries working in food safety, Qatar Standards and Metrology, health institutions, public and private hospitals, clinics, schools, food caterers, the food industry, the agriculture sector, food importers and any other institution working in the area of food, as they need professionals to inspect and assess the quality of their products.
Source: Qatar University