Doha: New minor in Food Safety is now being offered by Qatar University’s Department of Human Nutrition, part of the College of Health Sciences (QU-HEALTH).
“This minor will prepare competent graduates, destined to shape the future of the food safety and food industry in Qatar through advanced knowledge and professional competencies that will address the emerging food processes and food safety challenges that come 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 foodborne illnesses,” a university press release said.
A joint information session on “Minor in Food Safety” was organised by the Department of Human Nutrition at Qatar University’s College of Health Sciences and the Ministry of Public Health in Qatar. More than 70 students from Qatar University’s various colleges attended the meeting.
Presenters included Dr Tahra El Obeid, Qatar University’s Head of the Department of Human Nutrition, and Wasan Al Baker, Ministry of Public Health’s Manager of Food Safety and Environment Health. Ministry of Health has been working with the department for years to establish a comprehensive curriculum that would supply them with an ongoing number of health inspectors to support the growing food safety system in Qatar.
Dr Tahra ElObeid educated the pupils on the significance of food safety to the country as a whole. The main goal of the Food Safety minor is to assist Qatar’s national vision by advancing the country’s food industry and food safety administrations to the next level.
All of these crucial aspects of food safety are addressed in the Food Safety Minor’s course material. Furthermore, the educational process was described by Dr El-Obeid as one that will be multidisciplinary and interactive in nature, with the advanced theory being provided in the form of lectures and seminar sessions as well as practical demonstrations (such as hands-on experience in the laboratory), along with field training at various food safety sites.
According to Al Baker, food production alone will not be adequate to prevent foodborne disease. For foodborne illness prevention, workers in the food safety field must be well-versed in all areas of food production and processing, including how to conduct accurate risk assessments, implement risk management policies, and communicate their findings.
Mrs Al Baker then went on to describe the many divisions under the Ministry of Public Health responsible for food safety, as well as the roles each division plays in advancing and preserving food safety. Port Health, Environmental Health, and the Central Food Lab are the three main divisions under Food Safety and Environmental Health.
She went on to explain the function of the ministry’s food safety professionals, inspectors, and technologists, as well as how they can help Qatar’s food system. Mrs Al Baker went on to say that potential employers include the various Ministries involved in food safety, Qatar Standards and Metrology, health institutions, public and private hospitals, clinics, and schools, as well as food caterers, the food industry, the agriculture sector, and food importers, all of which require inspectors and quality assessors to inspect and assess their products.