Amid the growing controversy on food safety about unhygienic food practices in some restaurants and supply stores in Lebanon, the American University of Beirut (AUB), the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS), teamed up with Boecker® the leading provider of a holistic range of Public Health services covering Pest Management, Food Safety and Biosecurity in the region, to create an efficient change in Food Safety through a well-developed Corporate Responsibility initiative.
In this direction, the department of Nutrition and Food Sciences (AUB) and Boecker® will be providing high level Food Safety training courses in Supervising Food Safety, to students of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. This training program covers microbiology, general food hygiene, supervisory management and restaurant inspection, food spoilage and preservation, as well as kitchen layout.
Professor Nahla Hwalla, FAFS dean, commented on this initiative, saying: “In line with AUB’s leading role in education in Lebanon and the region, the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences has been equipping students with Food Safety education for a number of years now. We are happy to partner with Boecker to provide our students with hands-on experience as well as with the opportunity to sensitize communities on the crucial importance of Food Safety. Lastly, we are proud to play a role, as academia, on a national level, in this vast topic of Food Safety”.
The training course will be hosted by the department of Nutrition and Food Science (AUB) and will be followed by an active role of AUB, FAFS students who will undertake field visits and run free-of-charge kitchen inspections to food establishments in in Beirut as a community service exercise and will work with these establishments to raise their food hygiene standards.
Bana Kobrosly, Country Manager of Boecker® in Lebanon commented on this initiative: “This tie-up will definitely help small food outlets capitalize on the latest practices and knowledge that the AUB students will extend to their staff with Boecker’s guidance, without bearing the costs of hiring specialists. Subsequently, we are confident that this move will directly benefit our communities as this initiative will help create a certain shift in dealing with food safety at food establishments thus, present safer and more hygienic food and become more compliant with local laws.”
FAFS faculty and students have been active in the area of Food Safety and have been issuing research and studies on this sensitive topic, as well as conducting talks and other community wide initiatives. Recently, FAFS launched its new slogan “Healthy Earth, Healthy Food, Healthy People”, promoting its leading role in the wellbeing area. “Taking a tangible action with Boecker to promote best practices in Food Safety aligns thus naturally with FAFS mission”, added Hwalla.