Health Minister Dorcas Makgatho On Food Safety In Botswana (Excerpt from her Committee of Supply speech)
Chairperson, my Ministry continues to build integrated programs towards improvement of child nutrition and strengthening food safety systems. In this regard, I am grateful to UNICEF and the Delegation of the European Union who have constantly provided us with both financial and technical assistance in the areas of Community Based Management of Acute Malnutrition, Baby-Mother-Friendly-Hospital-Initiatives and Strengthening of Food Safety Systems. These programs are aimed at finding solutions to addressing malnutrition especially in settlements and rural areas, as well as building capacity in our national food control systems.
Street-vended food is a source of ready-made food for consumers. However, it can pose as a health hazard if the necessary foods safety processes are not followed.
To address this, in the coming financial year, my Ministry with the participation of other stakeholders will develop a food safety policy guideline for street-vended foods. The intention would be to safeguard public health as well as address food poisoning related to mishandling of food.
Chairperson, the development of comprehensive food legislation through the assistance of the European Union is on-going, and continues to build institutional technical capacity within the Ministry.
The technical skills attained has assisted my Ministry to set in motion the process to repeal, re-enact, consolidate and amend the current Food Control Act of 1993 to harmonise it with the existing climate of universal food safety for all and economic food industry liberalisation.
This process will result in the establishment of a National Food Safety Authority that has the overall coordination of food control, management and safety issues.