Food safety in Sri Lanka: Problems and solutions

J. Munasinghe, A. de Silva, G. Weerasinghe, A. Gunaratne, H. Corke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is a growing concern about food safety issues in Sri Lanka with the expansion of the food industry along with urbanisation, increased trade in fresh and processed food, and more consumption of foods of animal origin. Food safety risk management is important for both public health and market development both domestically and internationally. An island nation in an important location, and rich in resources needs to take to essential steps to exploit the export potential of fresh food such as fish, vegetables and fruits, while managing the safety risk of these foods to meet international market requirements. Considerable development has been achieved in fresh and processed fish and fishery products exports along with vegetables, fruits and cereals during the last decade. Especially, fresh and processed fish and fishery products export processors are maintaining higher levels of quality and safety measures consistent with EU regulations and US Food and Drug Administration. Food safety issues remain a challenge to public health. Food borne illnesses show an increasing trend, but still many go unreported and public awareness on food safety and risk management procedures is at a low level in the domestic market. Formulating effective strategy to address food safety is not easy. Establishing food hazard analysis critical control point systems along with an effective national food control system, imposing a Sri Lankan standard for processed food, amending Food Act no. 26 of 1980, harmonisation of food regulations with other countries, and conducting public awareness programmes on food safety issues, would be productive measures in managing food safety risk. Still there are many areas needing improvement. Realistic food hygiene regulations for food handling in small food establishments and restaurants need to be established. Capacity building and technical assistance are required for routine pesticide, mycotoxin and antibiotic residues analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalQuality Assurance and Safety of Crops and Foods
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Food safety
  • Management
  • Problems

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