Hospitality, food and beverage consultants from b. Consulting Cambodia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge to launch a new food safety training programme for the Kingdom’s hospitality workers.

It is hoped that the new programme will make a major contribution to food safety standards across the Kingdom.

Sreng Navin, Head of Laboratory of Environment and Food Safety at the Pasteur institute, explained that the institute has been conducting food safety training since 2018, but noted that the workshops had not been available to all companies.

She believed that the signing of the September 7 agreement will allow more and more hotels, restaurants and other hospitality businesses to send their staff for training.

“The MoU with b. Consulting Cambodia presents a fantastic opportunity to provide more access to advanced training than ever before. Anyone can participate – even if a business has just one or two employees, they can send them to our workshops,” she added.

She said the participants would gain a clearer understanding of food safety and hygiene standards. Participants can also register for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification, an internationally recognised ISO standard for safe food production.

She noted that while food safety regulations in Cambodia are already very comprehensive, the institute expected the training to reduce the number of instances of food poisonings that occurred.

Adre Spiegel, director of the Pasteur institute, addressed the signing ceremony. He said that since 2018, the institute has offered more than 10 courses on food safety and good hygiene practices to hotel and restaurant owners.

“I am certain that the partnership we are entering into formally this morning with b. Consulting Cambodia will allow us to conduct more training,” he added.

“This training will strengthen the practice of good hygiene and food safety, contributing to better public health for the people of Cambodia,” he concluded.

Florian Boheme, director of b. Consulting Cambodia, explained that every year, up to 600 million people worldwide get sick and 42,000 die from unhygienic food, and noted that last week, on World Food Day, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dith Tina warned that food-borne illnesses pose a major public health problem in Cambodia.

He added that b. Consulting Cambodia was well aware that one of the most effective ways to fight food-borne illnesses was to provide restaurant, cafe, hotel and canteen staff with better training.

“We are pleased that the Pasteur institute, which is the Kingdom’s largest food safety laboratory, has agreed to work closely with us to extend specialist training and provide hotel, restaurant and cafe owners with the tools they need to effectively train staff in the food, beverage and hospitality industry,” he added.

He said the partnership included access to the broad knowledge of the institute’s experts, coupled with training that would be conducted in a simple, functional, practical way that everyone can understand. The courses will be taught in the Khmer language.