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Minister Dunn commends FSPID for pursuing ISO certification and improved accreditation for testing labs


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February 2021
 

Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC), Hon. Dr. Norman Dunn (3rd right), using the Postharvest Technology Unit's refractometer to measure the level of total soluble solids (giving an indication of the sugar level) in orange juice, during a tour of the facilities at the FSPID located on Gordon Town Road, Kingston on Monday, February 22. Others from right are Senior Food Storage Scientist in the Postharvest Technology Unit, Danielle McGregor; Chief Food Storage Officer, FSPID, Dr. Roy McNeil; and Acting Director, Monitoring and Regulation, Commerce Division, MIIC, Jermaine Hunter.

Above Body

 24 Feb 2021    communications   

State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC), Hon. Dr. Norman Dunn has commended the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division (FSPID) for making concerted efforts to improve its operational standards and to maintain and also gain international accreditation for its services.
Addressing senior managers at the Gordon Town Road facility on February 22, Minister Dunn, in acknowledging the work of the department stated that, “your work here is critical to Jamaica’s food security. This Division is an important part of the Ministry and it is fitting that you seek to increase awareness of your role and function as food security is one of the main pillars of the government’s thrust at economic growth and development.”
He added that the Government is committed to providing adequate quantities of safe and nutritious food for our people, and to compete in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
The Division became the first International Standardization Organization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17020 accredited inspection body in Jamaica in April 2019. FSPID is currently working to have its laboratory tests accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard and to have the overall Division certified to ISO 9001.
The Minister of State has taken the position that “it is my duty to visit all the agencies under the MIIC portfolio and develop a better understanding of their operations. To this end when representation is needed for these agencies, I am able to perform this role armed with intimate knowledge of their operations.”
Meanwhile, Chief Food Storage Officer, Roy McNeil, welcomed the Minister’s visit and noted that it shows how important the FSPID is to the Ministry. “We are committed to our consumers by ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of all food and animal feed entering commerce in Jamaica, especially in this pandemic. More than ever we have to prove our relevance and why we should still exist,” he added.
Dr. McNeil, explained that the agency provides inspection, disinfestation, laboratory, and training services, which are executed through seven departments. These are the Inspectorate and Disinfestation Unit, Entomology Unit, Microbiology Unit, Pesticide Residue and Mycotoxin Unit, Rodent Biology and Control Unit, Postharvest Technology Unit and Training and Information Unit.
Noting that the Division has made significant strides over the years in protecting public health and ensuring the safety of food entering the local market place, Minister Dunn said “I am looking forward to the new certification being conferred, as it is crucial that all of us understand international food safety quality management systems; such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), among others that are relevant to our food security and capacity to trade.”
The FSPID is a regulatory department with responsibility for ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of food entering commerce and is a Division of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.
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