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Malaysia to host food safety hub
Publication Date : 17-07-2012
A Centre for Food Safety and an International Food Safety Training Laboratory will be set up in Malsyains state of Selangor, paving the way for the country to take the lead in food safety in the region.
The health ministry would set up the centre in Salak Tinggi, with construction planned for next year, Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai said while speaking to reporters after launching the International Food Safety conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
“The centre will assist the ministry with scientific input needed to conduct science-based decision-making,” he said, adding that the laboratory would provide testing and research on food safety.
The laboratory will be located within the centre. The 65 million ringgit (US$20.52 million) project will take two years to complete.
Liow said the project would add to the existing services provided by the ministry's Food Quality and Safety Division.
The number of food poisoning cases so far this year is slightly higher, with 195 cases compared to 188 cases last year.
However, the number of such cases in schools this year had fallen, with 92 cases compared to 120 last year.
Liow also said the number of hand, foot and mouth disease cases in Sarawak was still within a manageable level, adding that the number of cases caused by the more lethal EV71 virus strain was still negligible.
Responding to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's question on why public hospitals could not procure medicines directly from manufacturers, Liow said this was not true.
“It is a national policy that all licensed manufacturers need to register with the finance ministry before they can supply their products to the ministry,” he said.