The Ministry of Public Health to implement an electronic food safety system in Qatar

A pilot electronic food safety system has been launched by Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in preparation for its official launch.

Three interconnected electronic food control systems for local, imported, and exported food; and risk-based laboratory analysis to ensure the highest possible level of food control in accordance with the best international practices in the field make this system one of Qatar’s most important national projects for managing food control.

Starting with document checking, the new system allows electronic inspection of imported and exported food at the country’s various ports at Hamad International Airport, Hamad Sea Port, Ruwais Port, as well as the Abu Samra land port.

“The Ministry strives to develop the food control system in Qatar, having recently witnessed great development with the establishment of a wide and effective communication system with companies and food establishments and the development of modern electronic risk-based inspection systems and applications through all stages of the food chain,” said Wassan Abdullah Al-Baker, Director of the Food Safety and Environmental Health Department at MoPH.

On top of using state-of-the-art electronic tablets, she said the new electronic food safety system will transform routine inspections to scientifically based inspections that provide all electronic services to stakeholders. It will serve as a reliable reference when fully integrated with other state systems for food security and strategic stocks.

As part of the system, records will be checked and checklists will be filled out, inspection reports will be issued, and corrective actions will be tracked electronically. The system will monitor locally traded foods, inspect factories, restaurants and hotels. Electronic laboratory information management systems (LIMS) have also been installed in the food laboratories, allowing them to manage and automate the entire process, right up until the final laboratory test reports are issued.

In total, 1,983 companies and 163,808 products have been registered in the new system, according to the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). According to the Ministry of Public Health, local food establishment officials should expedite the registration of food establishments and products as soon as the registration process is officially announced.

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